Treatment for ASD is customized to benefit the individual because no two autistic individuals are the same. It is important to ensure that the treatment is structured, intensive and consistent for more favorable outcomes.
It is never easy to accept that one’s child has a condition that is untreatable – a condition that requires unconditional support and tireless effort to help the child cope with otherwise simple day-to-day activities. However, with the right kind of interventional treatment and encouragement from support groups, parents and caregivers can embrace every obstacle and keep moving on. One such condition that calls for extra care and special treatment are for individuals with Autism.
WHAT IS AUTISM?
Autism and Autism Spectrum disorders are terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development in children also called as neuro developmental disorder is characterised by,
The severity of the disorder varies from one individual to another. Autism Spectrum Disorders cause social, communication and behavioural challenges that make those with the condition react in ways that are different from other children. The interesting aspect of Autism is that some individuals develop exceptional skills in a particular field (like math or science) but are incapable of creating and maintaining ‘normal’ social connections.
SPOTTING AUTISM SYMPTOMS
Autism can be noticed in children as young as 18 months by observing their behaviour and noting developmental milestones. Some of the signs include:
If you notice any such signs in your child, it is best to get screened from ASD at the earliest. Starting interventional treatment at an early age can greatly improve the quality of life of someone with autism
AUTISM SCREENING AND DIAGNOSIS
Just as there is no known causes for autism, there is no singular lab test that can confirm the condition. Parents who notice that their child is not achieving developmental milestones on time, can take their child for an evaluation to their paediatrician. The developmental paediatrician psychiatrists or the child/clinical psychologist will then evaluate the child’s development of social, motor, and cognitive skills. While ASD screening can be done for child between 12 to 24 months, in some children the condition appears after they turn 2 years of age, who have normal or near normal developmental milestone but may lose their acquired milestone/skills also called as Regression. Children with autism / autism spectrum disorder are diagnosed at the age of three and above.
Treatment for ASD is customized to benefit the individual because no two autistic individuals are the same. It is important to ensure that the treatment is structured, intensive, and consistent for more favourable outcomes. Here are some approaches to treating ASD:
Treatment for ASD is usually an interdisciplinary intervention programme that combines multiple approaches for the best impact on the individual. The child may resist at the outset; however, persistence and perseverance are key to see any improvement.
TO PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASD
Parents of autistic children are bound to feel stressed with their child’s condition and their helplessness. Their living situation will have to change in order to facilitate proper care and treatment of their autistic child. Some may even have to stay home from work, and this can have a significant impact on their own emotional well-being. Talk to a therapist if you are feeling low and understand how to cope with your situation. Learn more about autism and see how you can support your child at home. Know that you are not alone. Find support groups and interact with parents in similar situations. Sharing stories can open up your mind and help you embrace autism and help your child live a good life in spite of it.
SENIOR REGISTRAR – PAEDIATRICS
MBBS, MD ( PAEDIATRICS)