Autism Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

What is autism?

Autism is a brain disorder that often makes it hard to communicate with and relate to others. With autism, the different areas of the brain fail to work together. Autism can affect a child's basic skills, such as socializing or forming relationships, communication and using imagination. A child with autism may also have a limited range of interests.

Autism cannot be prevented or cured. However, early diagnosis and intervention is critical and may help to maximize a child with autism's ability to speak, learn and function. The earlier treatment is started, the more effective it can be.

What causes autism?

The exact cause of autism is not known, but research has pointed to several possible factors, including genetics (heredity) and environmental factors.

Studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism, meaning that a susceptibility to develop the condition may be passed on from parents to children.

Other suggest

  • The body's immune system may inappropriately produce antibodies that attack the brains of children causing autism.
  • Abnormalities in brain structures cause autistic behavior.
  • Children with autism have abnormal timing of the growth of their brains. Early in childhood, the brains of autistic children grow faster and larger than those of children without autism. Later, when the brains of children without autism get bigger and better organised, autistic children's brains grow more slowly.

Symptoms of autism

Symptoms almost always start before a child is 3 years old.
  • A delay in learning to talk, or not talking at all. A child may seem to be deaf, even though hearing tests are normal.
  • Difficulty adjusting to changes in routine or familiar surroundings, or an unreasonable insistence on following routines in detail.
  • Difficulty with nonverbal communication, such as gestures and facial expressions.
  • Difficulty with social interaction, including relating to people and to his or her surroundings.
  • Difficulty with verbal communication, including problems using and understanding language.
  • Inability to make friends and preferring to play alone.
  • Inability to participate in a conversation, even when the child has the ability to speak.
  • Lack of imagination.
  • Preoccupation with unusual objects or parts of objects.
  • Repeated and overused types of behavior, interests, and play.
  • Repetitive body movements, or patterns of behavior, such as hand flapping, spinning and head banging.
  • Unusual ways of playing with toys and other objects, such as only lining them up a certain way.
Autism diagnosing

There are no laboratory tests for autism. But if symptoms are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a complete medical history and physical examination.

Doctor may use various tests such as X-rays and blood tests to determine if there is a physical disorder causing the symptoms. If no physical disorder is found, the child may be referred to a health professional who is specially trained to diagnose and treat autism.

Treatments for Autism

There is no is no cure for autism yet

But treatment may allow for relatively normal development in the child and reduce undesirable behaviors. Treatment for autism may include

  • Behavior modification: Supporting positive behavior and decreasing problem behavior by the child.
  • Medication: Medications for specific symptoms, such as anxiety (nervousness), hyperactivity, and behavior that may result in injury.
  • Special education: Structured to meet the child's unique educational needs.
  • Speech, physical, or occupational therapy: These therapies are designed to increase the child's functional abilities.


Thanks for reading Autism Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

« Prev Post