Do you know Kids with Autism?
Autism, or autistic disorder, is a neurodevelopment disorder that affects social interaction and communication. Kids with autism may have repetitive behaviors (such as rocking back and forth) or even engage in activities that are harmful to themselves (such as banging their head). Some researches estimate that three to six children out of every one thousand will have autism. Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls.
Autism generally appears within the first three years of a child’s life. Parents or caretakers will typically notice abnormalities in the child’s social interactions by the time the child is 18 months old. Kids with autism may exhibit symptoms such as:
- Difficulties with imaginative play
- Difficulties with social interaction
- Difficulties with change in routine or schedule
- Intense attention to limited subjects or activities
- Lack of eye contact
- Does not smile
- Repetitive behaviors
- Does not respond to their name
- Late in language development
Symptoms in kids with autism with vary from mild to severe. Although there is no known cure for autism, symptoms often improve with age and treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment is preferable for kids with autism. Treatment options include education and behavior therapies, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and medications to treat some mental health conditions (such as depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder). Some kids with autism appear to respond well to a gluten-free diet or casein-free diet. Not all medical professionals agree on the effectiveness of dietary changes.
Scientists and medical professionals continue to study autism, its causes and treatment results. Although kids with autism will likely continue to have some symptoms throughout their lifetime, many people with autism can live independently or with family.
It may be helpful for parents of kids with autism to connect to other parents and families with the same medical condition. FacetoFace Health offers secure support groups where members may anonymously ask others questions about their experiences including symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment results.
FacetoFace Health Autism Support Group
Cited References and Additional Resources:
National Mental Health Information Center
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke