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...

Is my Child Autistic? What are the early signs of Autism?

As a parent it becomes very difficult to believe that your bundle of joy may be autistic. The inability of a child to express himself, to get along with other kids or even unable to read and write properly is misunderstood by the parents and kid is often blamed for being mischievous or over pampered. A recent study showed that 50% of cases of autism gets reported at the age of 5 or older than that, which becomes a little late to fetch the benefits of various therapies. Experts say “When you tell parents that their child is down with fever they are ready to do all that is required for an early recovery of the kid. But when you tell them about a developmental disorder like Autism they refuse to accept it. And instead of starting an early intervention program they put immense pressure on the kid at home and at school to concentrate more and pay more attention, which causes more damage than doing any good”. Due to lack of awareness of autism among the parents the initial signs and symptoms are often overlooked. Identifying the early signs of autism is very important, as early detection at the age of 6 – 30 months can be life changing. Our Doctors also say that with an early intervention 1 in 5 kids can be recovered to a stage where they are no longer considered autistic. Severity of symptoms of an autistic child varies greatly, but autism has some common core symptoms. What are those? Let’s know more about it! Signs and Symptoms to Detect Autism in Children less...

What is Developmental Pediatrics & Developmental Disabilities?

It is a unique subspecialty that focuses on children experiencing developmental issues and with special needs. A recent survey conducted showed that lesser than 30% of cases of developmental issues in a child are reported before entering the school. Although these kids receive routine pediatric care but due to lack of experienced pediatricians and reduced awareness among the parents the early signs often go unnoticed. Children with developmental issues need different types of learning techniques and special attention at home, school etc. Developmental-behavioral pediatrics focuses on strengths and weakness of the child. They evaluate counsel and provide treatment for children, adolescents along with their family members to overcome these challenges. What are Developmental Disabilities? Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to impairment in physical, language learning or behavior areas. These conditions begin during the developmental period, but may impact day-to-day functioning and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime. Since every child develops at their own pace it becomes difficult to tell exactly when a kid will learn a particular skill. But skills such as taking the first steps, waving a hand, and smile etc can be set as a developmental milestone. Below are a few conditions which are seen in cases of developmental disabilities: Cerebral palsy, Autism, spinal Bifida, mental retardation, visual and hearing impairments, Tourette syndrome, Down syndrome. Difficulty in the day to day work like sleep disorder, feeding problem, complicated toilet training issues. Learning disorders like dyslexia, writing difficulties and other school related learning activities. Delayed development in speech-language and motor skill and thinking ability. Attention and behavioral disorders including attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder....