Autism is a neurological and developmental disorder in which individuals behave, communicate, interact, and learn differently from others. Autism is a developmental disorder that often gets diagnosed in the first two years of childbirth. ASD begins before three years of age; some children might meet the developmental milestone until the age of 18 to 24 months and then lose the skills they have developed.
Signs and symptoms of ASD
Interactive skills characters of children with ASD
Do not keep or avoid eye contact
Will show no facial expressions
Using non-verbal gestures and lacking proficiency
Cannot play simple interactive games by 12 months of age
Do not use gestured by 12 months of age
Do not notice when others are hurt by 24 months
Will not play with other children by 36 months
Will not sing or dance by 60 months
Restricted or repetitive behaviors
Repeats words again and again
Will play with toys in the same manner
Will follow certain routines
Will react differently to sound, taste, smell, look and feel
One in every 100 children is estimated to have autism. However, these estimates vary significantly; the prevalence is unknown in several middle and lower-income countries.
Certain environmental and genetic factors are expected to cause autism. There is no evidence that any childhood vaccine causes autism.
Developmental Monitoring: It is critical to monitor whether the child meets the developmental milestones, and it should be an ongoing process. It involves monitoring whether the child is meeting the developmental milestones as per the age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends developmental and behavioral screening at nine months, 18 months, and 30 months. Further, it recommends screening children for ASD, specifically at 18 months and 24 months.
Behavioral approaches: Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is an approach in which desired behaviors are encouraged and undesired behaviors are discouraged.
Discrete Trial Training (DTT): In this training, desired behaviors are rewarded, and undesired behaviors are ignored
Pivotal Response Training (PRT): This is more a real-world training, where few key skills are developed that are critical for developing other skills
Developmental approaches: It aims to develop language or physical skills. The most common developmental approach is speech and language therapy. Occupational therapy teaches the individual to live independently (includes dressing, bathing, eating, etc.).