Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is related to illnesses often described as developmental disabilities. They are characterized by problems with social and communication skills of varying degrees. Autistic people display unusual ways of learning, and face difficulty in reacting to different sensations and paying attention. People on the spectrum also tend to repeat certain behaviors and have difficulties when required to change their usual daily activities. ASDs commonly start in childhood and last mostly for the person’s lifetime. However, there are many new theories as to the causes of this disorder, and many offer the hope of effective treatments. People with autism suffer from qualitative impairment in social interaction whether with friends or family. They tend to fail in expressing any kind of emotion whether through facial expressions or gestures. This can also have an impact on their peer relationships. Their body and mind development is often delayed. For most behavioral therapies early detection of autism is considered essential. Utilizing techniques like questionnaires, interviews and clinical observation, various screening techniques have been developed. A combination of these methods is usually used to help doctors and researchers diagnose autism in children.
After studying both genetic and environmental factors, no particular cause has been found, although experts propose that it may be due to a faulty gene. Studies carried out in developed nations have found that around 6 in every 1000 children have at least one Autism related disorder. There is also evidence that this number is still increasing and that cases appear in clusters; both of which lend weight to the theory that ASDs involve a significant environmental factor. On the other hand, with regards to increasing numbers of cases, it may just be that doctors are more aware of these illnesses and are better able to diagnose them; but this may not alone account for such a large increase. It should be stressed that it is known that ASDs are not caused by parental actions.
It is also known as autism, early infantile autism, Kanner's syndrome or infantile psychosis.
It is also known as Asperger's disorder or simply Asperger's.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)
Dementia Infantilis, Disintegrative psychosis or Heller's syndrome.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder
It is also known as PDD (not otherwise specified) or atypical autism.
This is a huge and complex subject to tackle. Conventional behavioral and speech therapies can be very beneficial, and so are strongly recommended. Experts who have been dealing with autistic patients recommend a biomedical approach, which includes dietary changes and nutritional supplements. This allows one to have better control of the disorder by providing the body with the needful. Occupational therapy may also benefit the individual. Often these approaches are combined to create an eclectic program.
Counsellors for Autism
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M.A. Counselling Psychology
Counselling Psychologist and Mental Health Writer