Introduction to Child With Autism Parenting
More and more children are being diagnosed and treated for Autism or ASD. To date, it is the fastest growing disability with 1 child out of 150 suffering from ASD; four out of five children being boys. Autism knows no social, ethnic and racial boundaries and could affect anyone. Your child could be one of them.
We understand that managing your child’s autism is a special concern that would mean handling many difficult social and learning situations that would have an impact on your daily lives as parents or as a family. In some way, you may have blamed yourself for your child’s autism or may have felt that the problem’s so extremely hard. It is not your fault. You are not alone.
In dealing with autism there are certain facts that you must know. Up to now, there are is no known cure for autism and ASD, but with early screening and diagnosis and healthy and proper interventions, your child could develop to his/her full potential. Let’s learn more about autism.
What is Autism?
Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or Autistic Disorders are said to be under the cluster of Pervasive Developmental Disorders. ASD affects how your child perceives, reacts and understands the world around him or her. Autism is a severe and pervasive or common impairment in reciprocal social interaction and communication skills, usually accompanied by stereotypical and repetitive behaviors, interests and activities.
Autism shows in the way your child learns, communicates and behaves socially. Usually, children with autism have poor contact with you, other people and with the ‘real’ world. They show little to no interest in and even aversion or avoidance to other children and social play. Many people are likely to think of your child as ‘strange’ or ‘unusual’ but it takes a loving and caring parent or individual to understand children with autism.
What are the Symptoms of Autism?
Autism has a wide range of symptoms, but it usually includes difficulties with:
- Unusual or poor eye contact
- Little to no words to communicate, gesturing, pointing or babbling
- Absent response when spoken to or when name is called
- Echoes or repeats words and phrases instead of normal language
- Loses language skills
- Little to no interest in playmates and other children
- Child doesn’t look at objects that other people are interested in
- Child doesn’t show his/her objects of interest to other people
- Lacks interest in social play or games with other people
- Has unusual perceptions and reactions to how things look, sound, taste, smell or feel
- Has unrealistic and unusual fears
- Avoids touch
- Limited to restricted interests—prefers the same activities, toys and clothing
- Unusual use of everyday objects
- Limited imaginative or pretend play
- Stereotypical or stemming actions like spinning objects, rocking and hand flapping
- Difficulty adjusting in changes of routine
The signs and symptoms of autism are usually first seen by parents and teachers, screened by pediatricians and primary care doctors and finally diagnosed by a clinical child psychologist, developmental pediatrician and/or neurologist by the age of three.
What is the Cause of Autism?
Up to now, many theories as to the cause of autism have been studied but no definitive cause has been established. Many experts view autism as a behavioral disorder resulting from abnormal neurological or brain function. Moreover, there is no known cure for autism BUT, fortunately enough, the symptoms are manageable and treatable.
How Can Autism Be Managed?
Usual therapeutic interventions for your child with autism would be:
- psychotherapy directed toward the developmental level of your child: play, group, or individual therapy;
- medications in the form of neuroleptics, stimulants, and lithium to reduce the symptoms; and
- special day school or, in extreme cases, the removal from the home situation or hospitalization.