You often might come across people who seem to behave abnormally than others. For example, they might make weird gestures that are most repeated erratically. Also, these people seem to stay isolated from others the most. They even seem to speak very little, that too in a weird way. Ever wonder what is wrong with them?
Unfortunately, these people you come across might be suffering from a disease called Autism. This is a severe psychological condition that affects many people worldwide. Here, you will learn the leading causes and symptoms of Autism and how to treat it.
What Is Autism?
Autism is a nervous disease that is uncommon amongst people. Generally, symptoms of this disease appear during childhood, when they are young. Also known as an autism spectrum disorder, this disease is not contagious and is primarily hereditary, with complications at birth being a root cause.
Unlike Acne, Autism affects the person’s brain, disabling them to perform many everyday activities. This happens because Autism causes your brain to work slower since messages from the nerves to the brain are sent way slower than they usually should.
This causes many problems for the person, like the inability to communicate appropriately, anxiety, and frequent repetitive gestures over which they have no control. The actions that autism patient’s actions vary from person to person, hence why it is called the Autism spectrum.
What Causes Autism?
The leading causes of Autism are:
1. Genetic Factors
Many factors related to a person’s genetic composition might be why people have Autism. This has been proven because many people living with Autism have given birth to children who later developed symptoms of Autism also.
If one of the parents has Autism, then there is a high risk that at least one of their children will have Autism also. Therefore, One can say that Autism can be passed down from generation to generation, making it a hereditary disease.
Autism can also happen due to other genetic disorders. For example, if the child has Rhett’s syndrome or Fragile X Mutation, there is a high chance that the child can become autistic later on. Also, Autism can happen in children if their parents birthed the child at an older age (40+).
2. Complications At Birth
It has been observed that people often have Autism because of some complications they suffered when they were born. For example, a common cause of Autism can be linked to premature birth. If babies were before they reached the end of the gestation period (9 months), then there is a high chance for that child to develop autism symptoms once two years have passed. Likewise, if the mother suffers from specific allergies when pregnant, it can cause Autism. However, this is only exclaimed by many experts.
3. Environmental Factors
There can be many environmental factors at play that can cause Autism in young children. Although this is rare and more research is required here, some scientists have linked ecological factors like viral infections and certain medications during pregnancy that can lead to a child being autistic.
The main symptoms of an autistic person are:
1. Problems Communicating Socially
Autistic people have problems communicating socially with people. This is because they are mostly quiet or cannot speak normally most of the time. A common communicative symptom is that autistic people fail to respond to questions on time. For example, if you ask an autistic person a question, they will typically reply a few seconds after they have been asked or might not reply at all.
They might also stop talking in the middle of an ongoing conversation and might quickly forget what they were talking about. Another telltale sign of Autism is their rhythm of talking. Unlike people who stammer and have ADHD, autism patients will sometimes speak very fast or extremely slow in the middle of the same conversation.
Also, autism patients might not show any emotion at all. But, again, this is because they fail to understand feelings typically, which makes their face appear expressionless.
2. Repetitive Gestures
Autism patients will frequently make repetitive gestures over and over again. These include winking, licking and biting their lips, nodding incessantly, and making weird hand gestures like clapping with the back of the palm. If a person makes these gestures repeatedly, this is a sure sign of Autism.
3. Abnormal Behavior
Some forms of abnormal behavior can be traced to autism patients, like how concentrated and focused they become when they get fixated on an object. For example, if an autistic person plays with a toy car, they get fixated on the spinning motion of the wheels and continue to stare at it continuously.
Also, autistic people prefer living in isolation rather than engaging with people. This makes them subject to bullying and physical and mental abuse in school, leading to more psychological harm, inducing symptoms like self-harming and self-destructive behavior.
4. Trouble Learning
Autistic people have a lot of trouble learning and adapting to various situations. For example, it is common amongst autistic people to have dyslexia. This means reading and writing in the opposite way (like writing d as b or k in the opposite way). They have a hard time understanding speech, which makes their learning process more impaired when they go to school.
How To Treat Autism?
There is no cure for Autism. However, like asthma, it can be treated to reduce the various symptoms and effects it causes to people suffering from it. Most people develop symptoms of Autism after the age of 2. However, since there is no cure for this disease, they live with the symptoms throughout their lives. Also, many of the symptoms reduce gradually as they grow up, with many autistic people becoming normal as they reach adulthood.
Some methods of treatment are:
1. Early Intervention
Identifying the various signs and symptoms early on is key to combating the effects of Autism. Therefore, one should always keep a close eye on their children to see if they develop any symptoms of Autism or not. This is necessary because autism symptoms are seen most in children and wanes slowly afterward. Therefore, identifying them early using an Autism test and trying to control it will enable parents to prepare early on.
Physical and mental therapy is the best way to control the symptoms of Autism slowly. Some forms of therapy include:
- Behavioral Management Therapy
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy
- Nutritional Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Social Therapy
- Language Therapy
These are some of the methods of therapy that are applicable for people who have Autism.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Ans: The three main symptoms of Autismare:
• Impaired social skills
• Stunted cognitive skills
• Delayed activity
Ans: A person with Autism will behave erratically around people, often failing to talk correctly and being typically slow to external stimuli, thereby having slower reaction times.
Ans: The leading causes of Autism are:
• Birth complications
Ans: No, Autism can not go away. However, the person can learn to control the effects of the symptoms of Autism as they grow older, trying their best to live like ordinary people.
Autism is a severe disease that impairs one’s ability to communicate and socialize properly. As a result, people suffering from this disease generally prefer to stay isolated from others since they fear being made fun of for their condition – a widespread phenomenon, unfortunately.
Since there is no cure for their erratic behavior, they are often ostracized from society. However, therapy can give these people control of their symptoms and lead everyday lives. This is the proper meaning of what is autism spectrum disorder.