What Is Autism?
The nervous system in humans is one of the most complicated anatomical structures in the animal kingdom. It is responsible for helping humans to understand their environment and react to it appropriately. Unfortunately, children may experience disorders in this system and one of them can lead to autism.
Technically speaking, autism is a disorder affecting the nervous system that leads to impairments in social interaction and communication. It also causes repetitive and restricted behavior. Currently, more than 21.7 million people have this medical condition. It also seems to affect boys more than it affects women.
Here are some additional facts to help you understand what autism is.
Signs and Symptoms of Autism
You cannot know the signs associated with autism in a child until he reaches a particular age. In fact, most parents would only see something strange affecting their kid when he is more than 2 years old. At this age, parents would distinguish between personal traits exhibited by a child and symptoms of a medical condition. The signs to watch out for in an autistic kid include avoiding eye contact, loss of speech, and lack of joyful expressions. Others are repetitive behavior and limited responsiveness to your gestures, words, or facial expressions.
The Causes of Autism
Scientists are still trying to understand what autism is, but they do know that it might develop in a child because of many reasons. However, heredity factors seem to be the most common cause of it. For example, a recent study among twins revealed that heritable factors contribute to about 70% of all the identified autism cases. Other studies also showed that autism is about 25 times more likely to affect other children a mother will give birth to if she already gave birth to an autistic child. Exposure to pollution especially air pollution during pregnancy may increase the child’s risk of becoming autistic once born. Synaptic dysfunction may also be causing autism among children.
How to Deal With Autism
Unfortunately, a known cure for this medical condition does not exist. Instead, researchers urge parents to take steps to make their children as happy and as independent as possible. For example, they can suggest a school that is suitable for their child. To put it differently, the school should have a special education training program. Creating systems that encourage behavioral changes is also important.
Other possible remedial measures include speech therapy, occupation therapy, and physical workouts. Training autistic kids on how to handle social encounters with ordinary people should also be a priority for you because doing so helps autistic kids to interact well with the rest of society.