Autism is a brain developmental disorder which is characterized by impaired verbal & nonverbal communication, social interaction and repetitive behavior. Usually parents notice signs in their child at first two years of life. These signs develop gradually, while some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal speed and then revert. If symptoms appear before age 3 then they diagnosed with autism. Researches show that autism is 4 to 5 times more common among boys than girls and 1 out of 42 boys & 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism in US.
Social impairment and communication difficulties: Communication and interaction is often difficult for many people with Autism. These children have difficulty in eye contact with other people, fail to respond to their names, facial expressions, body language and only interact with others to achieve specific goals. They do not understand how to play with other children and may have a preference to be alone. Autistic child may have difficulty to understand other’s feelings or talk about their own feelings. Some children with autism may have delayed speech, give unrelated answers, tend to repeat phrases spoken by others without creating their own language, may speak in flat. Autistic child might not understand what means to wave goodbye.
Repetitive behavior: Children with Autism engage in recurring movements or strange behaviors such as, head rolling, hand flapping and body rocking. They may preoccupy with parts of objects like the wheels on a toy truck, with a single television program, toy or game. They insist that the furniture not be moved. They can injure themselves or the person e.g. skin picking eye poking, head banging and hand biting. They may also become obsessively interested in a particular topic such as animals, memorizing train schedules or airplanes. Some children may get angry or have emotional outbursts, especially when placed in a new environment. Some like to fix to the same routine and little changes may trigger tantrums. Some children may wave their hand or twist or flick their fingers when they are excited or upset.
Autistic people hear, see and feel the world in a different way from other people. If you are autistic then you are autistic for life. It is not an illness and it cannot be cured. Some autistic people have learning disabilities and they need different levels of support. Autistic people may also experience over or under sensitivity to touch, sound, taste, smell, light or colours. For many children, with behavioral treatment symptoms improve with age. People with Autism usually continue to need support and service as they get older, but depending on severity of the disorder. Behavioral interventions and therapies are designed to remedy specific symptoms and it can to a large extent to improve those symptoms. There is no cure for Autism but language and speech therapy, occupational therapy, educational support is available to help children and parents. Behavioral interventions or early speech can help children with autism gain self-care, communication and social skills.