Autism is not a disease or illness!

Autism is a developmental disability that affects the person’s ability to communicate and interact with the environment around them. It is a lifelong condition and it is 5 times more common in boys than in girls. Most important thing to remember about this condition is that- Autism is not a disease or illness and it cannot be “cured”. Autism includes wide range of symptoms; therefore, this condition is also called Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD ranges in severity from a disability that can interfere with normal life to a more serious disability that may need institutional care. Autistic children may have repetitive, peculiar body movements like rocking, pacing or hand flapping. They may also have unusual responses to people, resistance to change or aggressiveness. In some cases, children with autism may experience seizures. Also, some autistic people may have unusually developed skills in certain areas, such as drawing, music, solving math problems, or memorizing facts. When do the symptoms of Autism become noticeable? Symptoms of autism usually appear during the first three years of life. Some children may show signs since birth. However, some individuals may not show symptoms until demands of the environment exceed their abilities. What Causes Autism? Autism runs in a family, that’s why most researchers think that certain combinations of genes are responsible for autism. However, there are many risk factors that may increase the chance of having a child with autism, like: Delayed childbearing Exposure of pregnant woman to certain drugs, chemicals or medical conditions. This can include the use of alcohol, conditions like diabetes and obesity and the use of ant-seizure drugs. However,...

To understand Autism, Step into their shoes

April is Autism awareness month. ‘Autism’ – it is the fastest growing developmental disorder in India. According to research the number of children being diagnosed in our country has increased to 7,500 every year. So,what is Autism? “Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social interaction, communication, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors, as well as by unique strengths and differences. Every single child with Autism does not share the same set of features and challenges with another autistic child. They are ‘unique’. The term ‘spectrum’ reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism. “ So,what should you know? Most recent studies identified that Autism is caused by combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers. Autism can be identified as early as 18 months of age. By monitoring the child’s developmental pattern in the early years will help in identifying the disorder at the earliest. Early intervention plays a key role in treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). As mentioned above, one of the domains that children with autism spectrum disorders have challenges in is with Communication. To explain in brief, Communication is the process of exchanging information, feelings and thoughts between two or many people which involves listening-encoding-decoding-responding. Common challenges in Communication  Atypical language developmental pattern  Responding to name call, instructions, and conversations  Express their needs, feelings and interests verbally  Difficulty in learning speech and language from the environment  Using body language, signs and gestures to communicate The blog attempts to address the above challenges by providing tips which could improve the effectiveness of...

Top 5 Myths And Facts About Vaccination

The Internet gives you a lot of information on vaccines but not all that you read is true. Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether facts are falsified deliberately or due to lack of knowledge. Below are the five most common myths that are believed by people without knowing the facts. Myth 1: MMR vaccine causes Autism Fact: There is a widespread fear that MMR vaccines can cause Autism which originated from a study published by a British Surgeon in 1998. However, the paper was completely discredited due to serious procedural errors and ethical violation. Later many studies were conducted which showed no evidence or links between the vaccine and likelihood of developing Autism. Though the clear cause of autism is yet to be identified, but studies have identified symptoms of Autism in kids well before administration of the Vaccine. Studies have also found evidence that Autism develops in Utero, that’s much before a baby is born or receives any vaccination.   Myth 2: Natural Immunity is better than vaccine acquired Immunity Fact: In a case of a few conditions it is believed that the natural immunity results in stronger immunity. However, the dangers and the complications of this approach outweigh the benefits. But the fact is that getting exposed to any kind of infection, equally, increases your chances of developing further complications from the disease. Hence, it is always safer to get immunization done. Myth 3: Flu Vaccine a big No No!! I am allergic to eggs Fact: The quantities of egg protein present in the vaccines now are much lesser than in the earlier vaccines.  So most individuals with mild...