We live in a fast-paced world. With ever-growing cities, career options, and technology around us, all that we can think of is nothing but speed. By being a part of this rat race, which has eaten us all, we tend to forget that slow can be normal too! Autism, a very commonly prevailing condition in children around us, is one such normal which is often overlooked or ignored by most of us.
Autism which is also called the autism spectrum disorder because of the multiple other conditions that it involves is associated with problems in behavior and communication. It is the third most common developmental disorder, which is shown to have affected over 18 million children in India by recent studies. Autism presents itself before the age of three years in most children. While it occurs at birth in maximum cases, at times it may not present itself till the child turns two and half years of age. It is diagnosed by pediatricians and specialist pediatric neurologists, by assessing the child’s developmental milestones. The best time to detect autism is around 12-18 months of age, and the best way to detect it is by regular visits to your pediatrician. It can present itself with various symptoms, such as lack of eye contact, high sensitivity to sound or smell, repetitive robotic speech, etc. Not all children with Autism show all the symptoms. While some may be fluent in their speech, others may show little or no communication. Thus, it becomes important to discuss this with a specialist, who if suspects Autism on screening, carries out a more complete detailed evaluation before this diagnosis is made. Another interesting aspect is the uneven development of skills in these children. For example, a four-year-old may communicate like a two-year-old, but might be able to draw like a six-year-old. By such scattered developmental patterns, they can turn out to be exceptionally good in some rare skill.
Various genetic and environmental causes can be associated with the development of autism. In most cases, multiple factors play a role together for this condition to develop. Thus, it is important to understand that pointing out a single cause is not possible in such cases. Instead of blaming any reason, what is more important is that, once the condition is detected all the measures should be taken by the parents for better development of the child. Pediatric neurologists, behavioral pediatricians, child psychologists, language and occupational therapists can work together to bring out the best in Autistic children. We at Ankura hospital for women and children have a dedicated and specialized team to provide such care to your child.
The specialist team not only detects Autism at the right age but also, helps improve the specific problems which the child is facing. With this, improvement in communication, daily skills, and a better understanding of the environment develops gradually. Since the needs of the children may be different with growing ages, Ankura hospital is equipped to take care of them as per their developing requirements. Autistic children have normal intelligence levels and do not require any special school. However, the teaching staff and the other students should both be aware of the behavior changes of the autistic child so that together they can help the child adapt to newer ways. Just like none of us is the same, children with Autism too are differently enabled, making them their kind of normal. It’s high time for us, as a society to pause, look around and embrace each other’s differences and pace.