Autism – Causes and Symptoms of Autism
Autism is a serious developmental problem or a group of illnesses that results in the delay of developing basic skills. Children with this disorder lack thinking and usually have problems in understanding the world. These children delay in very basic things like talking and interacting with others. Autism is a neuro developmental disorder that occurs in early childhood. The signs and symptoms are seen when the child is 12 -18 months and is evident by 3 years.
Causes for Autism
Autism is a complex disease and the fact is that no two children with autism are alike, probably there are many causes. They may include:
- Scientists have discovered a different gene that appear to be involved in autism.
- In some children these genes cause a delay in the brain development.
- In some the genetic errors can be inherited from any of the parent.
- Autism in a child may occur spontaneously.
- Research is going on to know whether viral infections and air pollutants play a major role in triggering autism.
- Problems during labor and delivery is considered to be one of the factors for autism.
- Researchers believe that damage to a portion of the brain which serves as a danger detector can be one of the causes for autism.
A child suffering from autism can have problems in 3 areas of development that is language, social interaction and behavior. Two children suffering from autism exhibit different symptoms and there is a marked difference in their skills. Many children show signs of autism in their early infancy but some children develop within first few months or years. Each child suffering from autism show some unique behavioral patterns.The common signs and symptoms include:
- Hearing impairment at times
- Playing alone
- Fails to respond to his/her name
- Poor eye contact
- Appears unaware of others feelings
- Retreats into their own world
- Resists holding and cuddling
- No proper eye contact
- May lose previously acquired words or learnt sentences
- Repeats words or phrases but they do not know how to use them.
- Speaks with an abnormal tone like they may use a singsong voice or robot like speech
- Starts talking later than other children
- Develops specific rituals or routines
- Move constantly
- May be sensitive to touch, sound and light
- Performs repetitive movements like hand flapping, rocking and spinning
- May be fascinated by spinning of wheels in toy car
When to see your Doctor?
It is always better to treat the child at the onset of the disease than waiting for it to worsen.If you suspect that your child has autism, talk to the doctor because if treatment begins at an early stages, the more effective it will be. Watch for the following early signs:
- No gesture by 16 months
- The child does not say two word phrases by 24 months
- Does not babble by 12 months
- Does not say a single word by 16 months
- Lose previously acquired social skills or language and this can occur at any age
- If these signs are observed in your child, consult the doctor immediately.