Autism affects around 3 million persons in India, and the number is rising day by day. According to the first thorough assessment of autism prevalence in India, almost 23 out of every 10,000 children have autism. This condition affects a child’s capacity to interact socially and has significant social, communication and behavioural challenges for the child. This can suppress social skills and make it difficult to form meaningful peer relationships. This World Autism Awareness Day, 2nd April let us understand this condition better and spread awareness about its care.
What is Autism?
Autism pertains to a group of developmental abnormalities that impair how children connect with others and communicate. Because of the great range of forms and symptoms of autism, they’re referred to as a spectrum and often called Autism spectrum disorders(ASD). Although there is no cure for autism, early intervention and therapy can have a significant impact. Every child with autism shows different symptoms. The number of symptoms and their severity may also vary to a great extent. Some autistic children may not show symptoms, while some children who do not have autism exhibit a couple of these behaviours. This makes professional evaluation critical.
Signs of Autism
Here are some of the signs that indicate your child is at risk for an autism spectrum disorder. If your child exhibits any of the following, consult your paediatrician for a complete evaluation:
- Difficulty socializing with others and responding to social cues.
- Delay in language development.
- Unusual reactions to the way things smell, sound, taste, look, or feel.
- Avoiding or resisting physical contact.
- Avoidance of eye contact.
- Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings.
- Resistance to minor changes in routine or surroundings.
- Repetitive behaviours (flapping, rocking, spinning, etc.)
Parenting a child with Autism
Autistic children can communicate in a variety of ways. They may use words, facial expressions, gestures, emotions, etc. Work with your doctor closely to understand autism better and understand the techniques of parenting an autistic child. Speak to a specialist to understand the importance of seeking timely medical help. Do not wait for your child to grow up to seek therapy. The sooner children with autism spectrum disorders receive therapy, the better their chances of recovery. The most effective strategy to accelerate your child’s development and lessen the symptoms of autism is to intervene early.
Ways to interact positively with your child
- Be patient with your child.
- Stay consistent and on schedule.
- Be kind and flexible.
- Use gestures or other ways to communicate besides words.
- Show affection in ways they like.
- Use positive reinforcement.
How do speech therapists help Autistic children?
Speech-language therapists can assist autistic children in developing social and communication skills. They educate children how to get along with others, how to comprehend and use gestures and other nonverbal communication, how to follow directions, and how to ask and answer questions.
Misconceptions about Autism
Autism affects communication, interpersonal relationships, emotions, and social abilities in most people. Despite its widespread presence, many people have misconceptions regarding autism. Here are some of the most common myths:
Myth: Vaccines cause autism.
Truth: Vaccines do not cause autism. There is not enough evidence to support this.
Myth: Kids with autism don’t feel emotion.
Truth: Kids with autism feel emotions too, however they express it differently.
Myth: People with autism are violent.
Truth: Autism does not cause violence.
Myth: All people with ASD have “special gifts” or savant abilities.
Truth: People with ASD have varying skill sets and abilities.
Myth: We are in the midst of an autism epidemic.
Truth: No, increases awareness has now led to increases diagnosis.
Autism Care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital
Worried about how your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, or moves? Remember, you know your child best and your fears must be addressed. Don’t delay seeking care. Consult specialists at our Autism clinic for further evaluation and care. Early intervention can have a significant impact on your child’s development. Consult specialists at our Autism Clinic for further assistance and care: https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicsatkh/autismclinic.html