Symptoms of Autism
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) in children and is marked by extremely disabling conditions. This disorder is also known as Autistic Disorder or Childhood Autism and is characterized by various problematic behaviors such as discrepancies in language, impaired perceptual and motor development and an inability to function normally in social situations.
Autism was first described by Kanner in the year 1943. It is known to affect over 80,000 children in the United States and can be extremely distressing for the parents.
Research tells us that boys are 4-5 times more susceptible to autism than girls and in most of the cases this disorder is identified before a child turns 30 months of age.
Autism is a lifelong disorder and tends to differ in its severity and form from child to child. Some autistic individuals are able to live independently while others require special care throughout their life.
Symptoms of Autism:
Autistic children show different levels of impairment and capabilities. These children appear to be aloof from others since the earliest stages of life. Autistic babies are never cuddly and fail to reach out when picked up or talked to. They never smile or coo when being fed by their mothers. Another typical feature of this disorder is that these kids do not take notice when someone comes or goes.
Autistic children do not show any need for affection and have a lot of difficulties in developing a normal relationship with others. They don’t even seem to known or be bothered about who their parents are and might appear to be emotionally flat. But some researchers argue that these children do express emotions but might be unable to perceive things as others do.
Autistic children have stark difficulties in establishing verbal and non-verbal communication and do not share the interests of their peers. They are disengaged from all types of social interaction and might indulge in certain types of repetitive behaviors.
These children cannot concentrate on anything and do not indulge in activities such as playing games like other children. If at all they use speech, then it is either highly restricted or is never used as a means of communication. Almost 75% of autistic children make use of echolalia or the parrot-like repetition of a few words.
Children affected by this disorder are unaware of the feelings and emotions of others and cannot comprehend their expressions. They also fail to respond to others and appear to be deaf at times.
On other occasions, these children might get upset by a loud noise. These children usually insist on following the same patterns and indulge in repetitive behaviors and even the slightest change might upset them tremendously. About 25% of autistic children display an above average IQ in a specific field.
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