Autism spectrum disorders (mainly consisting of autism and Asperger's) are manageable if they are diagnosed in a timely manner and early medical help is taken.
Autism refers to a disorder in which a person has certain unusual responses. What causes autism is unclear, though genetic and environmental factors are considered to be the chief culprits.
To date, there is no specific lab test to diagnose autism. Common symptoms of autism are abnormal social behavior, communication, and repetitive behavior. Careful observation about a child’s behavior and confirmation by an expert help in establishing autism diagnosis.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by The American Psychiatric Association provides criteria for autism diagnosis, which covers three categories:
1. Social Skills: These seem to be absent through signs such as avoiding eye contact, not making friends, and remaining aloof. An autistic child does not like to be hugged or touched.
2. Communication: The inability to communicate verbally and respond to normal teaching methods may be a sign of autism.
3. Behavior: Extreme restlessness for no apparent reason, abnormal interests, irrelevant excessive laughter, insensitivity toward pain, repetitive movements, and excessive fascinations.
To confirm the diagnosis, a total of six autism symptoms must be present, with at least two from the first category and one each from the other two categories.
Asperger’s syndrome resembles autism but it is diagnosed separately, as language development is not delayed in the sufferers.
For more on autism, see below:
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Autism: How Your Diet Plays a Role
Autism: Top Natural Supplements for Treatment
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