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Autism spectrum disorder.

Autism spectrum disorder is a condition associated with brain development that affects how a person distinguishes and interacts with others on a social level, causing problems with interaction and social communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term “spectrum” in the term autism spectrum disorder refers to a wide range of symptoms and levels of severity.

Autism spectrum disorder begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems in social functioning. Children often develop symptoms of autism within the first year. For a small number of children in the first year, they seem to develop normally, and then go through a period of regression between the eighteenth and twenty-fourth months of age when they develop symptoms of autism.

Causes of autism disorder.

There is no single known cause of autism spectrum disorder. Given the complexity of this disorder, and the variety of symptoms and severity of it, there are likely to be many causes for it. Genetics and environment may play a role.

Genetic factors.

Several different genes appear to be involved in autism spectrum disorder. In some children, autism spectrum disorder may be associated with a genetic disorder such as Rett syndrome or the fragile X chromosome syndrome. Genetic changes (mutations) may increase the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder in other children. But at the same time, other genes may affect brain development or the way brain cells communicate, or they may determine the severity of symptoms. Some gene mutations may appear to be inherited, while others occur automatically.

Symptoms that appear on children.

1. Children show some signs of autism spectrum disorder in early childhood, such as lack of eye contact, lack of response to their name, or indifference to caregivers.

2. Other children may grow normally during the first months or few years of their life, but suddenly they become introverted or aggressive or lose the language skills they had already acquired. The signs usually appear at the age of two years.

3. Every child with autism spectrum disorder is likely to have a unique pattern of behavior and level of severity – from low performer to high performer.

4. Some children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty learning, and some have lower scores than usual intelligence.

The IQ of other children with this disorder ranges from normal to high – since they learn quickly, they have trouble communicating, applying what they know in daily life, and adapting to social situations. Intensity can sometimes be difficult to define, due to the unique combination of feeling Symptoms in every child. As it generally depends on the level of vulnerability and how it affects the ability to perform the functions.

Below are some of the common signs shown by people with autism spectrum disorder.

Communication and social interaction.

A child or adult with autism spectrum disorder may have problems with social interaction and communication skills, including any of the following signs:

1. The child does not respond when called by his name, or it seems as if he does not hear you at times.

2. Refuses to hug and catch, seems to prefer playing alone; That is, he withdraws into his own world.

3. Poor eye contact, absence of facial expressions, lack of speech or delay in speaking, or the child may lose his previous ability to pronounce words and sentences.

4. The inability to start or continue a conversation, or he may start the conversation to disclose his requests or just name things.

5. Speak in an abnormal tone or rhythm; He may use a monotone voice or speak like a robot.

6. Repeats literal words or phrases, but doesn’t understand how to use them.

7. Doesn’t seem to understand simple questions or directions.

8. He does not express his emotions or feelings, and appears unaware of other people’s feelings.

9. He does not point to or bring things to share his interests.

10. Reacts inappropriately socially by being irritable, hostile, or disruptive.

11. Has difficulty recognizing nonverbal cues, such as interpreting other people’s facial expressions, body position, or voice tone.

Patterns of behavior.

A child or adult with autism spectrum disorder may have problems with limited and repetitive behavior patterns, interest or activities, including any of the following signs:

1. The child makes repetitive movements, such as swinging, turning, or flapping hands.

2. He may do activities that could cause him harm, such as biting or banging the head.

3. Establishes certain procedures or rituals, and gets upset when the slightest change occurs.

4. Has coordination problems or has strange movement patterns, such as unbalanced movements or walking on toes, and has strange, stiff, or exaggerated body language.

5. He may be dazzled by the details of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car, but not aware of the object’s outline or its function.

6. He may be unusually sensitive to light, sound, and touch, even though he’s indifferent to pain or heat.

7. It is not occupied by imitation games or pretend play.

8. He may be dazzled by an object or activity with abnormal enthusiasm or focus.

9. He may have certain food preferences, such as eating only a few foods or refusing to eat foods with a certain texture.

What can parents do to help their autistic child?

Parents play an essential role in providing the necessary support for their autistic child, and they can help ensure access to health and educational services for the child and provide nurturing and stimulating environments as he develops. It has been shown recently that parents can also help provide their child with psychological and behavioral treatments.

Signs of autism spectrum disorder often appear early in the developmental stage when there is a clear delay in language skills and social interactions, including:

1. He does not respond with a smile or an expression of happiness by the time he is six months old.

2. Does not imitate voices or facial expressions by the time he is nine months old.

3. He does not stutter or make a noise when he is 12 months old.

4. He doesn’t gesture with gestures – such as pointing or waving a hand – when he’s fourteen months old.

5. He does not utter separate words by the time he reaches the sixteenth month.

6. He does not play “pretend” games or pretend he is eighteen months old.

7. He does not utter two-word phrases by the time of his twenty-fourth birthday.

8. Loses language skills or social skills at any ageprotection.

There is no way to prevent autism spectrum disorder, but there are treatment options. Early diagnosis and intervention is very beneficial and can improve behavior, skills, and language development.

References :

Www.mayoclinic.org /by Mayo Clinic Staff.

منظمة الصحة العالمية /www.who.int

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