Autism: Recognizing The Symptoms
Autism is defined as a disorder of the central nervous system which can cause development retardation or disability. This is difficult to diagnose as the doctor needs to subject the patient to different tests and criteria based on activities, interests, communication, imagination and social interaction. Just as difficult is the creation of a list of symptoms for this disorder.
Autistic children have similar external symptoms, though – that is if you look close enough since, most of the time, it is hard to recognize autistic children from the normal ones. Several studies have pointed out, however that autistic children seem to have a larger head circumference when compared to regular children.
Other Probable Symptoms
There are many other symptoms that have been observed among autistic patients. Those who suffered from this disorder seem to have very little concern for dangers. An example is when an autistic child would find it okay to stand in the middle of a road.
Another symptom is when the child dislikes playing pretend games. While this is often played by regular children, autistic ones have trouble cooperating or joining such games. Playing police or hide-and-seek may also be an uninteresting game for them.
There is a huge reason behind this. Autistic children are not able to bond well with other children. They are also not keen on being introduced to anyone or on spending time with other kids. Autistic children have been observed to be introverts (they prefer to be alone).
If you see your child throwing a tantrum that is a lot more intense than other kids, then be up on your toes. Such tantrums can become violent since autistic children have a tendency to be non-cooperative and selfish.
This selfish behavior extends to other stuff such as an autistic child getting toys only for himself. At their age, you will find that they do not suffer from separation anxiety – this may be seen as a sign of independence by the parents but too much independence could be the symptom of the disorder.
Autistic patients may also not return smiles when people smile at them. They also have a problem establishing eye contact or responding to people who talk to them.
If you are aiming to teach new knowledge to an autistic patient, you might end up getting frustrated. Autistic children have trouble taking in new knowledge, even learning new talents.
Other symptoms include spinning around in circles, putting hands on ears, the need to be in a familiar place at all times, walking on tiptoes, having odd movements, delay in speech and language skills development, and difficulty in following direction.
There are definitely no cures for the disorder. Each child must be evaluated by a competent physician. Diagnosis becomes doubly difficult for children aged 1-3 since they are not good at communicating yet.
Early intervention is the key to treating this disorder. Some forms of diets have also been approved by a few doctors. Top recommendations include vitamin and mineral supplements; a casein or gluten-free diet; iron and Vitamin D-filled diets; added essential fatty acids; and including more amino acids, carnitine, and Vitamin B6 to the diet.
Medication is quite common as are occupational, physical, educational, social and communication therapies. Some parents who want to try alternative therapies need to consult with a doctor first.