Autism is a neurological and developmental disorder which affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with other people. Autism affects about 1 in 68 children and is more prevalent in boys than girls.
Children with autism usually display signs before the age of 2 and these signs usually last throughout a person's life. Many children remain undiagnosed until preschool or even kindergarten and may miss getting the help they need in the early years. The most obvious sign is the inability to interact socially. Following are the common signs of autism
· Not responding to a mother voice or his own name.
· Avoiding eye contact and physical touch.
· No smile or interest when the adult points out objects.
· Speech problem or Delays in learning to talk.
· Getting upset by minor changes (aggressive behavior).
· Repeating words and phrases (echolalia).
Autism affects parts of the brain which control emotions, communication, and body movements. Scientists do not know the exact cause, but it is suspected to be the genetic disorder as its runs in the family. People who have one child with autism have a 19% chance that other child will have it too.
There is no curative medical treatment for autism. Some antipsychotic medications may be given for serious behavior problems such as aggression, self-injury, and tantrums. Behavioral therapy is widely used to help the children to improve their communication and social skills and is quite effective. Therefore, early diagnosis and start of behavioral therapy by a child psychiatrist and psychologist is the key intervention.
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