Proposed Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder DelhiAutism Spectrum Disorder does not have a standard treatment or a fixed treatment plan. There, however are a number of guidelines or ways in which the symptoms can be minimized and the abilities and capabilities can be maximised. The most effective therapy or intervention differs from person to person. But highly structured and specialised programs have the best response for people suffering from Autism Spectrum Disorder. There have been cases where apt treatment has helped people with autism attain a near normal level of functioning.

Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder may often be mistaken for those of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. Hence, it is important to focus on the symptoms and not on labels. By focusing on symptoms and working on minimizing them, there is a better chance of addressing the child’s special needs.

There are numerous therapies on offer for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some are listed hereunder:

  • Behavioral Management Therapy – through this therapy there is an effort to reduce the unwanted behavioural traits and emphasize on the desirable behavioural traits.
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy – this therapy emphasizes to help develop a connection between feelings & behaviour.
  • Early Intervention – it has been observed that through an early intervention at pre-school age or before, the results are more positive.
  • Joint Attention Therapy – the focus of this therapy is on improving specific skills related to joint attention like pointing, showing, and coordinating looks between a person and an object.
  • Medication Treatment – though there is no medication to treat Autism Spectrum Disorder, but some medicines are known to help treat some of the symptoms. Medication used with behavioural therapy is known to bring in quite a change.
  • Nutritional Therapy – the children with ASD might be picky about what they eat or resist eating altogether. It is important to collaborate with a good dietician to ensure nourishment and good health.
  • Occupational Therapy – this helps the children with ASD to complete their everyday tasks by making the most of their abilities, needs, and interests.
  • Parent-mediated Therapy – parents of the children with ASD learns therapy techniques from the professionals and provides these specific therapies to their children.
  • Physical Therapy – this includes activities and therapy that focuses on building motor skills & strength and improve posture & balance.
  • Social Skills Training – this is a training to help children with ASD interact socially with peer especially.
  • Speech-language Therapy – this therapy focuses on helping the children with ASD improve their ability to communicate.

It is important to discuss all possible treatments and therapy with your doctor and come up with a personalised plan best suited to cater to the needs of your child with a focus on addressing the symptoms of the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Understanding Autism And Its Symptoms In Children

Understanding Autism And Its Symptoms In ChildrenAutism has been classified as a spectrum disorder, which essentially means that there is great disparity in the manner it affects the various people it affects. Each child diagnosed with autism has unique sets of abilities and limitations.

To understand your child’s autism, it is important to understand that it is not a single disorder, but an entire spectrum of similar or related disorders. The common symptoms may include problems with social interactions, social empathy, communication, and flexibility in behaviour. However, the extent or severity of the problem varies greatly.

As a parent dealing with a child who is afflicted with autism, you may have faced the terms like high-functioning autism, atypical autism, autism spectrum disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder and been confused about them. No matter how the doctors use these terms and how they label your child, you must focus on the individual needs of the child instead of the label.

Some of the symptoms exhibited in autistic children may be listed as under:

Social Behavior & Social Understanding

  • Strange or inappropriate body language
  • Disinterest in the people around or in participating in activities that involve other people
  • Lack of interest in approaching others or in continuing social interactions, preferring to be left alone
  • Inability or difficulty in understanding other people’s feelings, reactions or any other non-verbal indications
  • Strong resistance to touch
  • Inability to make friends with children of the same age

Speech & Language

  • Impediment or inability in learning to speak
  • Adopting an abnormal tone, pitch or rhythm of speech
  • Repeating the same phrase or string of words again and again, without an intent of communication
  • Struggling while trying to start or continue a conversation
  • Inability to communicate needs
  • Inability to understand simple statements or questions
  • Taking the things literally, not getting humour, irony, or sarcasm

Restricted Behaviour and Play

  • Repetitive body gestures and continuous motion
  • Getting an obsessive attachment to mundane objects
  • Fixating on an extremely narrow subject of interest, maybe things involving numbers or symbols
  • Inability to accept any change and an obsessive need for routine or order
  • Odd body movements, clumsiness, or unusual body posture
  • An unusual fascination for moving objects, spinning objects or movable parts of toys
  • Extreme or no reaction to sensory inputs

While keeping these symptoms in mind, you also must understand that just because your child exhibits some of these does not necessarily mean that he has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder is diagnosed by able professionals on the basis of multiple symptoms that might disrupt the afflicted person’s ability to express, form relationships, learn, play or explore the world around them