Nearly 1 to 2 out of 1000 individuals suffer from autism. This cognitive disorder can be detected at an early age. The signs of autism become apparent by the time a child is 3 years old. Compared to girls, boys are more prone to this neurological abnormality.
In medical terminology, Autism is a form of pervasive development disorder. Children suffering from autism have difficulty in communicating. They exhibit poor social interaction. Autistic individuals tend to repeat activities and have limited ability to display their interests. People suffering from autism are often extremely sensitive to light, sounds and touch. They may exhibit aggressive behavior, leading to self-injury. Although, autism is sometimes associated with mental retardation, but nearly a third of autistic individuals have normal to near normal intelligence quotients.
To reduce the autistic traits exhibited by an autistic person, early intervention is necessary. The earlier autism is diagnosed in a child, better are the chances of enhancing the learning and communication skills of the child.
Signs of autism can be detected during infancy. In smaller number of cases, a child appears to be normal until he/she is 2 years old, after which he/she starts exhibiting signs of autism. An autistic child is indifferent to his surrounding. Like other normal babies, an autistic baby would not react favorably or unfavorably when he sees someone. He will not be interested in toys. He will not prefer company of others, including his mother. He will react adversely if you try to cuddle him. Autistic children also overreact to sensory stimuli. They will exhibit extreme pain, crying aloud in pain when he hears sounds, sees bright lights or even if he is touched lightly.
The exact causes of autism are unknown. Although, autism could not be cured, but nonetheless, the severity of the condition could be significantly reduced with behavior and physical therapies.
What parents should do
Parents of autistic kids should be prepared to learn the skills of parenting an autistic kid. The faster you are able to reach the intervention centers the better is it for you and your child. You should contact parents of other autistic kids, who can help you with their real life experiences. Try to solicit support from your family and friends. Just like an autistic child, parents of autistic kids also need mental support to deal with their problem.