Autism in Children – Definition, Cause, Symptoms and More
In this post we are going to discuss with you about Autism in children, from the meaning of the term “autism” to its causes, symptoms and how to deal with it, we will be talking about it all here.
As we have already talked about the authority figures in the introduction page, whether you are the parent of a kid, their family member or mentor, if you find yourself as an authority figure of any kid then it is your responsibility to be aware and connect with them on a deeper level to understand their behavior as well as mindset.
Autistic kids are unique and they are often known for their certain special skills, but autism is also something which should be diagnosed as well as dealt with intensive care. With this content, we will try our best to help you understand this particular disorder in detail so that you can take better actions if you are concerned about a child who is affected by autism.
What Is Autism?
Autism is a typical type of developmental disorder which results in basically three forms of challenges which are social interaction, general communication, and behavioral challenges.
This brain disorder in most cases can only be detected after 4-6 months of the birth of a child, early signs of autism can be seen during the childhood of a person and that’s why it is very necessary to provide proper care to such kids.
There is a famous saying about autism “If you have met one person with autism, then you have only met one person with autism” because this particular disorder never shows similar characteristics in different people.
Hence, every autistic kid has to be dealt in a way which is unique to that particular individual and in all such cases no specific formula works for all, so it can not be put under a particular category, yet with advancement of medical field we can somehow categorize them in a few ways but this still does not give the guarantee of the results one gets using any specific method or medication.
The main difficulty that an autistic kid has to face in life is usually related to how they interact with others. This means that they can be weak, moderately or extremely good in any specific behavioral skill. But in all cases, they often find it very problematic to communicate their true emotions and that’s why as their authority figures we have to take care of their emotional issues.
As we know, autistic children hardly show similar characteristics, this also has to do a lot about “in what way” and “how much” they are affected by this particular disorder, though we can never know “in what way” autism is affecting someone but we can detect “how much” it is affecting them by observation and two-stage diagnosing process.
The degree to which autism affects someone can vary a lot depending upon the time as well as individuals. On an approximate level, about 1 in 68 kids in the world are affected by autism and boys are usually more prone to this disorder than girls and statistics shows that it is 5 times common in boys than girls.
Unfortunately, we still don’t have a clear idea about the cause of autism and since it is a rare condition in every child, we have not succeeded to find any particular cure. But this does not mean that this problem is insurmountable, with proper support it can be diminished to a great level and there have been many cases where people have shown great signs of improvement.
How They Differ from Others
In the above point we have talked about how autistic kids find it most difficult to follow the usual ways of social interaction and apart from that, they are very much like other kids. Their inability to properly express their feelings is what actually makes people perceive them as “different” from other kids and use judgmental labels to define them, which is in a way also a catalyst to their actual troubles.
When provided a proper environment where people do not judge them based on their life challenges, their life can be made much easier.
There are mainly 3 problems that a child affected by autism has to deal with in comparison to other kids, they are as follows:-
1 – Social Skills
As humans, we all are highly dependent on various factors for communication which is not much clear to us on the conscious level because it is so subtle.
We have learned a lot about the indirect form of communications while growing up and we greatly depend on other people’s mood and emotional state before expressing our views.
But in case of autistic kids, this is something that becomes a great hurdle which makes it very difficult for them to express their views to others. They do not understand gestures, body language, facial expressions and indirect ways of communication like others do.
This also makes them react differently to various situations. Their inability to express emotions and understand other’s feelings also makes them seem like less empathetic towards others.
Since they differ a lot in this particular area than other kids, this factor makes it very complicated for them to make friends with kids of their age. The way they conduct themselves varies a lot from others especially in body postures, focus(eye to eye contact), facial expressions and other usual gestures upon which social interaction highly depends.
2 – Communication Problem
Even in the direct mode of communication autism can highly influence a person’s life but it is not common for every kid, in fact, the direct mode of communication is something that greatly varies among these kids.
Some kids are very poor in speaking whereas some are like normal kids, however, there are also cases where they are exceptionally good in this particular skill that it becomes no match for any person who is considered normal by the society.
Many autistic kids fail to understand the usual figure of speech, especially sentences that contain subtexts like humor and sarcasm are something nonexistent for them.
Some kids may keep repeating something they have heard (echolalia), say things by singing or change their voice tone as well as pitches (like robotic voice) in random situations.
3 – Obsessions and Behavior
Autistic kids are often obsessed about specific things which can also make them extraordinary. They get too deeply involved in things and forget about other usual activities. Missing whatever is important in life due to an obsession can be a disadvantage but this also makes about 10 percent of autistic kids extremely good at any particular skill.
Some of the greatest minds in history are said to be affected by autism like Sir Issac Newton, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Henry Cavendish etc.
These kids are also known for their obsession towards daily routines which they refuse to change and they can also do repetitive things at a particular time of the day because of this. Without proper care, many such kids can cause self-injury by engaging in activities like head banging, hand biting, skin picking, eye poking, etc.
So, if you are an authority figure for any kid who is affected by autism then these are few things about which you must have some prior knowledge so that you can help that child to live a better lifestyle in a society that holds many limiting and narrow-minded belief/concepts about this particular disorder.
Also, there are some ways using which you can detect autism in a kid. It is not necessary that some slight differences from what is considered “normal behavior” in a kid confirm that they have autism. To detect autism in a child it is advised that you must first equip yourself with proper knowledge about the signs and symptoms of autism and also take the necessary professional help.
One of the best books we have found which can help you with the parenting of autistic kids is “Not What I Expected” by Rita Eichenstein, who is a pediatric neuropsychologist, this book gives a better insight into various disorders related to kids.
Here’s an awesome Ted Talk video from Wendy Chung on Autism that you might want to check out:-
We hope this post was helpful to you. We would love to hear your views on this so please do share your suggestions, opinions, and thoughts by commenting below.
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