Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a broad term used to describe a group of neuro developmental disorders. Problems regarding communications and social interaction. People with ASD often demonstrate restricted, repetitive and stereotyped interests or patterns of behavior. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Autism occur more often in boys than in girls with a male-to-female ratio 4 to 1.
Different types of autism
Five different ASD sub-types:-
- with or without accompanying intellectual impairment.
- with or without accompanying language impairment.
- associated with a known medical or genetic condition or environmental factor.
- associated with another neuro-developmental, mental or behavioral disorder.
- with catatonia.
Autism can be linked with one of the following disorders:
- autistic disorder.
- Asperger’s syndrome.
- pervasive development disorder (PDD).
- childhood dis-integrative disorder.
Autism symptoms typically become clear, during early childhood between 12 and 24 months of age. However, symptoms may also appear earlier or later.
- Problems with communication and social interaction–
- issues with communication, including difficulties sharing emotions, sharing interests, or maintaining a back-and-forth conversation.
- issues with nonverbal communication, trouble maintaining eye contact or reading body language.
- difficulties developing and maintaining relationships.
2. Restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior or activities–
- repetitive movements, motions, or speech patterns.
- rigid adherence to specific routines or behaviors.
- an increase or decrease in sensitivity to specific sensory information from their surroundings, such as a negative reaction to a specific sound.
- fixated interests or preoccupations.
Causes of Autism
- having an immediate family member with autism.
- genetic mutations.
- fragile X syndrome and other genetic disorders.
- being born to older parents.
- low birth weight.
- metabolic imbalances.
- exposure to heavy metals and environmental toxins.
- a history of viral infections.
- fetal exposure to the medications valproic acid (Depakene) or thalidomide (Thalomid)
- behavioral therapy
- play therapy
- occupational therapy
- physical therapy
- speech therapy
- high-dose vitamins.
- chelation therapy, which involves flushing metals from the body.
- hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Genetic and environmental factors determine whether a person develops autism, but there is no cure, therapies and other treatments can help people feel better or alleviate their symptoms.