Autism and Children
It is estimated that out of one thousand children, three to six have autism. The definition of autism is brain disorder associated with developmental problems mainly in social interaction and communication. The disorder happens on boys more often than girls. The symptoms usually show before the age of three.
Autism awareness and diagnosis has improved greatly over the past few decades. However, autism cannot be cured and persists throughout life. The recent increase in autism cases in United States are not actually the increased of patients but the increase of reports and diagnosis of such cases, as compared to the past.
Early diagnosis and intensive treatment can make a lot of differences. Symptoms include failing to answer to her or his name, has poor eye contact, resist cuddling and holding, prefers to play alone and retreats into his own world. For babies, if they do not babble or coo, point and wave by 12th month, and does not say a word at 16th month, autism is highly suspected.
The seriousness and consequences of the disorder is on case by case basis. Some autistic children are able to grow up independently which the rest may need supportive living and working environment.
Some autistic children may lead normal or near normal lives when they grow up. They may become more engaged with others and able to mingle more naturally as they mature and show less marked disturbances in behaviours. Others however, may deteriorate and have worsening behaviour problems. The major problem with autistic children is the slow speed in acquiring new knowledge and skills. Only small numbers are able to master exceptional skills like math or art.
The causes of autism are not identifiable. Researchers believe it to be caused by gene defects and abnormalities in several regions of the brain. Extensive researches have shown that there is no link to vaccines. So far, there is no medical test to diagnose autism. Formal evaluation includes observation and developmental tests such as speech, language and physiological.
Early detection is beneficial to the child, as treatment before the age of 3 is best chance of significant improvement.
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For more details on parenting children with autism, visit Parenting Children with Autism at http://parentingautism.info