You might've heard about the term 'Autism' in Hollywood movies or in some TV show but do you recall encountering anyone with Autism in your life ever? Autism is yet another undiagnosed psychological problem in Pakistan.
Our aloofness with psychological disorders has made us insensitive towards others' sufferings. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's stats, one in 54 children are identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
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Here are a few important things you should know about Autism:
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual on Mental disorders defines Autism as a disease causing persistent deficits in social communications and social interactions across multiple contexts with restricted repetitive patterns of behavior in the early developmental period.
Every child with Autism is different.
It is a blunder when we generalize our experiences with one child to all children with autism. Every individual with autism will have different tendencies and different shortcomings, as it is a spectrum disease. So consulting therapist is always recommended.
The diagnosis can be made at 2 years of age.
The symptoms of autism start appearing from day 1 but the confirmed diagnosis can not be given before 2 years of age. The testing kit used by psychologists here in Pakistan is applicable for kids older than 2 years. However, in America, they have started diagnosing before the age of 2. It is advisable to visit a developmental psychologist before your child turns 2. Early intervention can make a huge difference.
People with autism process sensations differently.
Kids with autism are either oversensitive or under-sensitive in processing sensory information. This might make them extremely picky in choosing clothes for themselves and eating food. They also have different reactions to sounds that are undetectable for the majority of kids.
People with autism can't manifest their feelings.
Autistic kids might seem distant but they care about their families. They have a hard time making friendships but they do want to have friends. They also have very low expression of pain, it is important for parents to keep a check on kids with autism.
There are no medical treatments to cure autism.
Often parents seek medicines to cure autism in their child. Autism can not be cured with biomedical interventions. Although, medication is prescribed for some of its peripheral symptoms, like anxiety, hyperactivity, sleep problems, and gastrointestinal issues.
There are evidence-based interventions for children with autism.
Behavioral therapy is most effective with autistic kids. Developmental psychologists teach social skills and help them utilize their cognitive skills in daily life. Motor and behavior regulation skills are also applied to help the child with repetitive movements. The speech therapist deals with the speech of the kid with autism.
- Behavioral therapy is most effective with autistic kids.
- Autistic kids might seem distant but they care about their families.
Lastly, it is important to realize that children with autism are still children, they need your utmost attention and understanding.