Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism is a lifelong neurological condition. Among the several developmental disorders in children, autism is the most common brain disorder.
Autism manifests as differences in development in three main areas:
1. Communication (verbal and non-verbal),
2. Social interactions and
3. Behavioural challenge or imagination
Which can be seen in repetitive and restricted play or leisure activities. This is referred to as the triad of impairments.
There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.
According to the Indian Scale Assessment of Autism, there are approximately 2 million children with autism in India.
A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately:
1. Autistic disorder,
2. Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS),
3. Asperger syndrome
These conditions are now all called autism spectrum disorder.
There are two more types of ASD that are very rare.
1. Rett syndrome
2. Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD)
People suffering from these disorders will exhibit symptoms such as losing language skills, losing intellectual skills, seizures, and they most likely do not recover their lost abilities.
There are no medical or genetic tests that can detect autism. These can only rule out other conditions. Autism may occur alongside conditions such as mental retardation and hyperactivity, but the autistic traits in the person are typically what require attention.
It can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable. However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older. This delay means that children with ASD might not get the early help they need.
Autism may occur alone or may be accompanied by other diagnoses. When autism co-occurs with another condition, it is important that all the interventions the individual receives are autism friendly.
Conditions that commonly co-occur with autism include:
1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
2. Intellectual Disability (previously known as Mental Retardation)
3. Anxiety Disorders
5. Sleeping Disorder
6. Seizures and Epilepsy
7. Learning Disorder (LD)
8. Cerebral Palsy (CP)
9. Fragile X Syndrome