Autism is a developmental disorder that influences communication and social interactions in children who often experience difficulty in understanding the command, lack cognition skill and indulge in repetitive behaviours. They also exhibit sensory issues like oversensitivity to sound, smell or touch. Understanding autism and its symptoms in children become apparent when they do not meet their developmental milestones.
Autism is related to a deficit in social interaction, eye contact, lack of facial emotion, cognitive processing, etc. Improved understanding of behaviour in kids with autism and various conventional intervention can alter the challenging neural symptoms in the kids. These conventional therapies also rebuild various lost skills and functionalities.
- Autism is a huge spectrum
- A child with autism may need extra time to develop language & speech
- A child with autism may get stuck on one subject (repetitive behaviour)
- A child with autism may refrain from social interactions
- For a child with autism sensory processing may be difficult
- A child with autism may take a literal sense of what is said to them & vice versa
- Understanding autism and its symptoms are essential. Language and speech delays are the core distinguishing features in children with autism which severely impact how they interact with others. They have a wide range of challenges, two of which are mentioned below:
Communication and Interaction
- They may face problems pertaining to social & emotional reciprocity
- They may be unable to maintain normal conversations
- They may seem like having no interest in displaying their reactions
- Some autistic children may not maintain steady eye contact
- They may show difficulties in understanding or using gestures (nodding, pointing)
- They may exhibit different facial expressions and body language
- Autistics may seem to like to stay aloof and refrain from making friends or share their belongings (toys, books, stickers)
Restricted or Repetitive Behaviours
- Repetitive or stereotyped speech or echolalia (repeating words or sentences), movements (rocking, flapping hands, tip-toeing, etc.) or lining up toys,
- Adherence to the same routines or behaviour patterns and getting distressed with even a minute change
- Adverse or strong reactions to certain sounds, bright light and touch
- They exhibit fixated interests: like playing with certain toys or listening to the same music over and over again
Children with autism spectrum disorder tend to have issues like abdominal pain, constipation gastrointestinal symptoms and diarrhoea. They have a liking for highly processed foods and consume fewer fruits and vegetable diet. This increases the risk of obesity and gut-related problems.
Individuals with autism tend to face insomnia and wake up frequently during the night. This affects their health leading to hyperactivity, depression, irritability and his/her cognitive performance.
In spite of all the disabilities, understanding autism and children with special needs is important. A child diagnosed with autism with severe symptoms of intellectual and learning difficulties have shown improvement in their condition after following various therapies like speech therapy, play therapy, aquatic therapy, yoga therapy, etc. They have gained the ability to do their work without support, enjoy a renewed learning capacity, gained cognition ability and can mingle and share their things with others.
Children with autism are just lovable! They only need complete attention, love and understanding.