Autism Spectrum Disorder (Autism) is a lifelong developmental disability that is neurological in origin.
What Is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children and teens and can continue into adulthood. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention. These behaviours interfere with school and home life.
ADHD has three subtypes: The first is where the child is mostly hyperactive and impulsive. The second is where the child is predominantly inattentive with slight hyperactivity; and the third is where the child shows a combination of both inattentiveness and hyperactivity.
It’s more common in boys than in girls. It’s usually discovered during the early school years, when a child begins to have problems paying attention.
Adults with ADHD may have trouble managing time, being organized, setting goals, and holding down a job. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addiction.
What is autism spectrum disorder ?
The autism spectrum disorder describes a range of conditions classified as pervasive developmental. ASD includes autism, Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS]. These disorders are characterized by social deficits, communication difficulties, stereotyped or repetitive behaviours and interests, and in some cases, cognitive delays
It is estimated that there are 20 lakh ( 2 million) individuals in India suffering from Autism/ASD using the extrapolated prevalence figures of 1/250 to 1/500.
- There is no known single cause of autism. Many causes of autism have been investigated and our understanding is still incomplete.
- Research indicates that genetic factors predominate but it is unclear which genes may be responsible. It is generally agreed, however, that autism is likely to have multiple causes, including some pre-natal factors that result in the common symptoms of autism.
- Autism also tends to occur more frequently than expected among individuals who have particular medical conditions including fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, congenital rubella syndrome and untreated phenylketonuria (PKU). It is more common in males than females.
Autism usually becomes apparent before a child is three years old. It is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, as well as restricted interests and stereotyped behavior. Autism impacts on a child’s development in a number of key areas, examples of which are listed here:
- Some children with autism have greatly impaired ability to communicate or to understand spoken language. For those autistic children whose language does develop, their comprehension is often quite literal and they have great difficulty with abstract concepts or nuances. They can also appear to talk “at” people about a favorite topic, rather have an interactive conversation.
- Individuals with autism have difficulty establishing and maintaining relationships. They have difficulty reading the intentions, motivations or reactions of others. This impairs their ability to share interests and to engage with others in a conventional manner. They can appear disinterested when it is their impairment in skills to engage with others rather than a lack of desire on their part.
- Children with autism have a restricted and repetitive range of behavior. Interests may be unusual in their intensity or focus. For example, the child may show a strong interest in parts of toys such as spinning the wheels of a toy car. Likewise, the child may line-up toys rather than play with them in an imaginative way.
- Most children with autism show a strong preference for routine and predictability. They may insist on activities that follow a particular order and resist any activity with which they are not familiar. They may also strongly resist change.
- Many people with autism show an unusual response to sensory stimuli: Some everyday noises can be experienced as overwhelming; and busy environments can be experienced as stressful. Also, some tastes, smells and textures can be experienced as intolerable
How is first detected?
Parents usually notice signs in their child around the age of 2 years. The signs develop or become obvious gradually.
Some early signs in the child may include:
- Does not show interest in interacting with other children.
- Does not play “pretend” games, imitate others, or use toys in creative ways.
- Does not seem to hear when others talk to them.
- Does not share interests or point out interests to others.
- Responds to a question by repeating it, rather than answering it.
- Reacts unusually to sounds, sights, smells or textures. May be especially sensitive to loud noises.
- Follows rigid routines and has difficulty adapting to change.
- Has an unusual attachment to objects such as keys, light switches, etc.
- Obsessively lines things up or arranges them in a certain order.
- Preoccupation with a narrow topic or interest.
- Repeats the same actions or movements over and over again, such as flapping hands, rocking, or twirling.
Home care to autism treatment and support
If you’ve recently learned that your child has or might have autism spectrum disorder, you’re probably wondering and worrying about what comes next. Study yourself about Autism.
When your child has autism
Learn about autism. The more you know about autism spectrum disorder, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions for your child. Educate yourself about the treatment options, ask questions, and participate in all treatment decisions.
Become an expert on your child. Figure out what triggers your kid’s challenging or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. What does your child find stressful or frightening? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? If you understand what affects your child, you’ll be better at troubleshooting problems and preventing or modifying situations that cause difficulties.
Accept your child, quirks and all. Rather than focusing on how your autistic child is different from other children and what he or she is “missing,” practice acceptance
Don’t give up. It’s impossible to predict the course of autism spectrum disorder. Don’t jump to conclusions about what life is going to be like for your child. Like everyone else, people with autism have an entire lifetime to grow and develop their abilities.
Provide structure and safety
Learning all you can about autism and getting involved in treatment will go a long way toward helping your child. Additionally, the following tips will make daily home life easier for both you and your child with ASD:
Be consistent. Children with ASD have a hard time applying what they’ve learned in one setting (such as the therapist’s office or school) to others, including the home. For example, your child may use sign language at school to communicate, but never think to do so at home. Creating consistency in your child’s environment is the best way to reinforce learning.
Stick to a schedule. Children with ASD tend to do best when they have a highly-structured schedule or routine. Again, this goes back to the consistency they both need and crave. Set up a schedule for your child, with regular times for meals, therapy, school, and bedtime
Reward good behavior. Positive reinforcement can go a long way with children with ASD, so make an effort to “catch them doing something good.” Praise them when they act appropriately or learn a new skill, being very specific about what behavior they’re being praised for
Create a home safety zone. Carve out a private space in your home where your child can relax, feel secure, and be safe. This will involve organizing and setting boundaries in ways your child can understand.
Find nonverbal ways to connect
Connecting with a child with ASD can be challenging, but you don’t need to talk—or even touch—in order to communicate and bond. You communicate by the way you look at your child, by the tone of your voice, your body language – and possibly the way you touch your child. Your child is also communicating with you, even if he or she never speaks. You just need to learn the language.
Make time for fun. A child coping with ASD is still a child. For both children with ASD and their parents, there needs to be more to life than therapy. Schedule playtime when your child is most alert and awake. Figure out ways to have fun together by thinking about the things that make your child smile, laugh, and come out of her/his shell. Your child is likely to enjoy these activities most if they don’t seem therapeutic or educational. There are tremendous benefits that result from your enjoyment of your child’s company and from your child’s enjoyment of spending unpressured time with you. Play is an essential part of learning for all children and shouldn’t feel like work.
Pay attention to your child’s sensory sensitivities. Many children with ASD are hypersensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Some children with autism are “under-sensitive” to sensory stimuli
You can know needs by asking yourself the following questions:
What are my child’s strengths – and his or her weaknesses?
What behaviors are causing the most problems? What important skills is my child lacking?
How does my child learn best – through seeing, listening, or doing?
What does my child enjoy – and how can those activities be used in treatment and to bolster learning?
Finally, keep in mind that, your involvement is vital to success. You can help your child get the most out of treatment by working hand-in-hand with the treatment team and following through with the homeopathy
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