Autism School in Gurgaon
What is Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?
A. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioural challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.
A diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) now includes various conditions as listed:
- Autistic disorder (classic autism).
- Asperger’s disorder (Asperger syndrome).
- Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
- Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD).
What are the red flag Signs to pick Autism ?
Autism should be suspected if there is absence of:
• Babbling by 12 months
• Gesturing (e.g., pointing, waving bye-bye) by 12 months
• Single words by 16 months
• Two-word spontaneous (not just repletion of words) phrases by 24 months
• Loss of any language or social skills at any age
When should we suspect Autism?
The following actions, if ‘not done’ by the child can raise suspicion of Autism.
• Not pointing at objects to show interest (for example, not pointing at an airplane flying over)
• Not looking at objects when another person points at them
• Have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
• Avoiding eye contact and wanting to be alone
• Having trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
• Appearing to be unaware when people talk to them, but responding to other sounds
• Being very interested in people, but not knowing how to talk, play, or relate to them
• Repeating or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language
• Having trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
• Not playing ‘pretend’ games (for example, not pretending to ‘feed’ a doll)
• Repeating actions over and over again
• Have trouble adapting when a routine changes
• Having unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
What are the different kinds of experts who the parents should meet?
The child should meet paediatric neurologist for exclusion of secondary causes leading to autism such as tuberous sclerosis, exclusion of seizures etc.
The next visit should be to development paediatrician or child psychologist for the confirmation of the diagnosis. They apply certain questionnaire based tests which help in the diagnosis of the disease. After the diagnosis is confirmed, the child requires therapies from occupational therapist, speech therapist, applied behaviour analyst and therapist.
How is Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) treated?
While there’s no proven cure yet for Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), treating Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) early, using school-based programs, and getting proper medical care can greatly reduce Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms and increase your child’s ability to grow and learn new skills.
Research has shown that intensive behavioural therapy during the toddler or preschool years can significantly improve cognitive and language skills in young children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
There is no single best treatment for all children with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but the common features of effective early intervention programs include:
- Starting as soon as a child has been diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- Providing focused and challenging learning activities at the proper developmental level for the child for at least 25 hours per week and 12 months per year.
- Having small classes to allow each child to have one-on-one time with the therapist or teacher and small group learning activities.
- Having special training for parents and family.
- Encouraging activities that include typically developing children, as long as such activities help meet a specific learning goal.
- Measuring and recording each child’s progress and adjusting the intervention program as needed.
- Providing a high degree of structure, routine, and visual cues, such as posted activity schedules and clearly defined boundaries, to reduce distractions.
- Guiding the child in adapting learned skills to new situations and settings and maintaining learned skills.
- Using a curriculum that focuses on Language and communication.
- Social skills, such as joint attention (looking at other people to draw attention to something interesting and share in experiencing it).
- Self-help and daily living skills, such as dressing and grooming.
- Research-based methods to reduce challenging behaviours, such as aggression and tantrums.
- Cognitive skills, such as pretend play or seeing someone else’s point of view.
- Typical school-readiness skills, such as letter recognition and counting.
- One type of a widely accepted treatment is applied behaviour analysis (ABA).
- The goals of ABA are to shape and reinforce new behaviours, such as learning to speak and play, and reduce undesirable ones.