• Autism in children: symptoms, early signs, treatment, causes

    Autism is a disease that affects the nervous system, which arises as a result of brain development disorder and manifests itself in the form of delay in the development of basic skills, a comprehensive deficit of social activities and communication, unilateral interests and repetitive actions.

    Pathology develops from birth, but the first signs appear about three years.

    In 1971, the disease was separated from schizophrenia, although the very concept of autism was first introduced in 1943.This rare mental disorder predominates in boys( 3-5 times more often), but in girls it is more difficult. People with autism have difficulty understanding the world around them and have problems with thinking.

    Causes of Autism in Children

    The cause of autism is not established. There are suggestions that it arises from the inappropriate interaction of genes among themselves or as a result of their mutations. Until now, the mechanism of development of characteristic changes in several parts of the brain is unclear.

    But there are factors that, according to experts, can contribute to the emergence of autism in children.

    So, the possible reasons:

    1. 1) Intrauterine disease of the fetus;
    2. 2) Severe labor: insufficient oxygen supply during childbirth or birth injuries;
    3. 3) Hereditary factors;
    4. 4) Organic damage to the central nervous system;
    5. 5) Viral and bacterial infections;
    6. 6) Disturbance of metabolic processes;
    7. 7) Exposure to toxic substances on the mother's body during pregnancy.
    It is impossible to assert with full confidence about the involvement of all the factors listed above in the emergence of autism, but if there is a hereditary predisposition, then any serious impact can provoke it.

    Symptoms of autism in children

    Autism is characterized by a variety of stable manifestations, the first signs of which are noted in childhood and remain in a relaxed form throughout life.

    There are three main symptoms by which one can judge autism in children:

    • the complexity of socialization;
    • disturbances in interactions with strangers;
    • limited interests and stereotyped behavior.
    Autistics live in their closed world, as they experience difficulties in their relationships with others. It is difficult for them to formulate their own phrases, so they often simply repeat other people's words mechanically. Such people talk about themselves in the third person, because they can not adapt the word combinations to different circumstances and do not catch the essence of the situation. They do not understand portable meanings and perceive everything literally.

    People with autism are interested in individual details of things without seeing the whole picture. Reality appears to them as something confused, continuous chaos, where there is no order and meaning. They constantly try to establish a schedule, fix a certain path of action, but changing circumstances, situations and people cause feelings of confusion and anxiety.

    Autistics do not see or hear changes that happen around, and in this they can be compared to deaf and blind people. Anxiety can only cause a disturbance in the habitual way of life and a change in the state of things, since resistance to change and the performance of daily activities in a certain order( ritual of clothing in clothes) are characteristic of them.

    Such people are able to feel the emotions of others, they perceive tears as water balls and do not understand that a person is bad. Poverty of expression of emotions is manifested from an early age. Children with autism do not support emotional relationships with loved ones, avoid eye contact, do not cling to their mother, and often resist close physical contact. Characteristic is the intolerance of both positive and negative emotional stress.

    Autistic people lack imagination, they can not imagine what another person thinks, and therefore can not foresee events. Building a friendly or romantic relationship is almost impossible.

    The mild form of autism allows you to live separately from parents in adulthood with sufficiently formed communication skills and mental development.

    Diagnosis of Autism

    Autism is diagnosed for 3 years already. It is very important not to miss the disease at the initial stage to start treatment before the disease develops into an incurable form. Presence of an alarming symptomatology is an occasion for the reference in hospital.

    Diagnosis is based on behavioral analysis. Such a diagnosis can not be made quickly, the examination is conducted scrupulously. To identify violations of the ability to communicate, the level of development and behavior, special questionnaires have been developed.

    Diagnosis methods:

    • observation and conversation;
    • experimental( tests, questionnaires, actions on a sample are used);
    • hardware( MRI, echoencephalography, electroencephalography, rheography of the brain);
    • laboratory( for assessing the state of blood and immunity).
    Diagnosis is based on certain symptoms. This is a violation of social skills, verbal and non-verbal communication, problems with the imagination, limited interests.

    Treatment of autism in children

    It is impossible to cure autism. The main goals of medical intervention can be called increasing the functional independence, getting rid of obsessive actions, help in social adaptation. Treatment is based on training for which special programs have been developed, and the use of pharmaceuticals: neuroleptics, antidepressants and stimulants.

    Drugs are prescribed only to remove depression, fear and anxiety. With calm autism, medication is not required. Usually, communication with other people is adjusted through behavioral programs.

    A good rehabilitation effect is provided by hippotherapy( treatment with horses) and dolphin therapy. It is proved that autistics are easier to come into contact with animals than with humans. It should be said that the approach and duration of therapy are different for each individual, since the picture of the disease is highly individual.

    Autism for modern medicine is an incurable and mysterious ailment. Among autistics sometimes there are brilliant, gifted people with outstanding abilities and this phenomenon has no explanation.

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