Not all children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) display the same symptoms. Different types of autism affect children in different ways – and to identify the symptoms correctly, you need to be aware of the various shades that ASD can take.
Different types of autism spectrum disorder
A child with Asperger’s syndrome has difficulty interacting and communicating with others, along with repetitive, restricted behaviour patterns and interests. Children diagnosed with the syndrome may be focused on discussing topics that interest them but are socially awkward.
Rett syndrome is a rare, genetic disorder that impairs brain development. The disorder is prevalent only in girls and affects almost every aspect of life, including one’s ability to eat, speak, and move.
Childhood disintegrative disorder
CDD – also known as disintegrative psychosis and Heller’s syndrome – is the most severe and rarest type of Autism Spectrum Disorder that affects children between the ages 2 and 4. The disorder is characterized by delayed onset of developmental skills – motor skills, functional ability, and language.
What are the symptoms of autism in children?
Depending on the type of autism disorder, the symptoms range from behavioural and cognitive issues to psychological and developmental conditions.
Some common signs of the disorder are –
- Compulsive behaviour
- Repetitive movements
- Lack of eye contact
- Inappropriate social interaction
- Speech delay
- Learning disability
- Interest in a limited number of things
- Disregard for other people’s feelings
Some children develop ASD symptoms right from infancy, while others exhibit the same within 12-36 months of birth.
Best treatment for autism
Caring for a child having Autism Spectrum Disorder can be challenging on many levels. Although the condition cannot be cured completely, there are therapies that may help ease ASD symptoms and improve the child’s quality of life.
ASD can be treated with:
Behavioural therapy seeks to recognize and change unhealthy, self-destructive behaviours. It functions on the idea that all behaviours are learned, and can be changed for the better.
The therapy focuses on helping children with cognitive, sensory, and physical disabilities be independent in all areas of life. OT can help autistic children improve their motor skills and self-esteem.
Speech therapy focuses on improving the child’s speech and abilities to express and understand both verbal and non-verbal language.
More than conventional treatment, a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder requires the support and affection of others. By lending support and providing them with the best treatment, you can make their lives easy, and ensure that they thrive despite being diagnosed with such a condition.