health Sep 8, 2022

Developmental disorders originating in childhood may cause serious impairment in different areas of the body. They usually improve as the child grows older, but they also cause impairments that continue through adult life.
These disorders are language disorders, learning disorders, motor disorders and autism spectrum disorders. The common developmental disorder may affect up to 1 in 2500 people.

Autism is a confusing, life-long mental disability. It is a spectrum disorder that is believed to be caused by brain damage caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.
It is not an illness or disease and cannot be 'cured'. However, there is a range of methods of enabling learning and development - which may find to be helpful.  
In general, majority of individuals with autism are identified as mentally retarded.
The condition impairs a child’s natural instinct to communicate and form relationships and the child usually withdraws into an isolated world of his or her own.
The term “autism” is derived from Latin word “autismus” which was coined by the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler in 1910 as he was defining symptoms of schizophrenia. From the early 1900s autism was referred to a range of neuro psychological condition.
The symptoms and characteristics are in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe.
Normally, developing infants are social by nature. They gaze at faces, turn toward voices, grasp a finger and even smile by 2-3 months of age.
Most children who develop autism have difficulty engaging in everyday human interactions.
Parents are the first to notice that their child is showing unusual behaviours.
Autism, has a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, delayed or lack of speech and nonverbal communication, repetitive movements of body parts such as arms and head, little or no eye contact.

The diagnosis of autism is based on analysis of all behaviours and their severity. Children with autism may also have seizures, motor abnormalities, anxiety, sleep cycle disturbances, gastrointestinal problems, immune dysfunction and sensory disturbances. Some features of Autism may not become noticeable until the child starts nursery or school.

Some programs such as behavioural therapy help with children’s overall development. Behaviour programs address social skills, attention, sleep, play, anxiety, parent interaction, and challenging behaviours. Cognitive behavioral therapy, and social skills training are types of behaviour programs.
Cognitive behavioural therapy programs help children manage anxiety.
Social skills programs address social skills, attention, and play.
Antipsychotic drugs can help reduce emotional distress, aggression, hyperactivity, and self-injury.
With medication, a person with autism may have fewer problems with aggression, repetitive behaviour, hyperactivity, attention problems, irritability, anxiety and depression.
Recent experiments show that vitamin therapy, particularly vitamin B6 has useful effect on autistic behaviour. However vitamin therapy never be undertaken without medical supervision.
A variety of resources and agencies must team up to develop wide-ranging programs based on each child’s needs.
Research does not tell us which types of intervention work best for different children. Decisions should be made by the team based on needs of individual child. The program should teach the child: ability to attend, imitate others, understand and use language, play appropriately with toys and socially interact with others. Positive behaviours should be supported rather than to punish negative behaviours.

Mom and daughter learning visual programming
Photo by Robo Wunderkind / Unsplash


A. Sandhya

M.Sc Zoology

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