Other Diseases
Autism
​What is autism?
It is a group of complex disorders hindering the brain development and it varies in degrees, as the child with autism suffers from difficulties in social interaction and communication (verbal and non-verbal) and repetitive behaviors. Also, he is characterized by two features: delayed and deviated development.

What are symptoms of autism?
A child with autism is born healthy and well, and often there are no problems during pregnancy or at delivery. He grows up normally, physically and intellectually, until he reaches the age of 2 or 3 years (normally at the age of 30 months), when the child begins to have difficulties in development in three crucial areas, social interaction, communication and behavior, as follows:

Social skills:
  • Doesn't respond to his name being called.
  • Has poor eye contact.
  • Doesn't listen to his speaker.
  • Resists cuddling and becomes introverted. 
  • Appears unaware of others' feelings.
  • Prefers playing alone and creates his world. 

Language skills:
  • Begins speech (words pronunciation) at a later age compared to normal children.
  • Cannot say a single word at the age of 16 months.
  • Cannot combine two words in a semi sentence at the age of two years.
  • Loses the ability to say certain words or phrases that were known to him.
  • Speaks with strange voice or abnormal tones and rhythms. 
  • Cannot initiate a conversation or go on with an existing one. 
  • May repeat words, expressions or terms, but he doesn't know how to use them.

Behavior:
  • Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping.
  • Develops specific actions and repeat them always.
  • Becomes disturbed at the slightest changes.
  • Moves constantly.
  • Doesn't know how to use toys properly. 
  • Puts things in a long line or loves one thing only.

What are causes of autism?
Studies are still underway to determine the causes of autism, as scientists have not reached the main causes of autism yet. As per some studies, hereditary, genetics and environment may play a role in developing autism.

Do main vaccines cause autism?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), epidemiological studies have indicated that there is no evidence of a link between certain childhood vaccines (Measles, Mumps and Rubella “MMR”) and autism. Also, there is no link between preservatives in vaccines such as thiomersal or ethyl mercury, and autism.

What are risk factors of autism?
  • Studies have shown that in case of delivering identical twins and one of them has autism, the other may develop the disorder by 36-95%. If the twins are not identical and one of them has autism, the other may develop the disorder by 0-31%.
  • Parents who have children with autism, the possibility of having a new baby with the disorder ranges from 2 to 18%. 
  • Children who are born to older parents have a greater risk of developing autism.
  • Genetic disorders or chromosomal imbalance. 

What is treatment of autism?
There is no cure for autism, but the focus should be placed on how to deal with and help the autistic child. As the autistic children get older, their ability to speak begins to improve, as half of them can speak spontaneously at the school age. Also school-age children might be able to play with others and build simple social relations and a lot of troubled behaviors fade away.

The treatment plan can be a combination of: 
  • Behavioral therapy to help learn skills and limit abnormal behaviors.
  • Speech therapy.
  •  Physiotherapy. 
  • Medicines to relieve some of the symptoms. 
  • Changing the diet.



 
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Last Update 15 March 2018 11:00 AM
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