Autism Spectrum Disorder
ASD now also called AUTISM, is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that mainly affects brain development leading to learning issues, challenges in communication and social interaction, behaviour issues with restrictive patterns of interest and activity in the individual. It is known as a developmental disorder as its symptoms usually emerge in the first two years of a child’s life. But it can be diagnosed at any age.
It is also known as spectrum disorder because the type and severity of symptom vary along a wide range. Even though ASD has particular characteristic in common but each individual diagnosed with ASD shows a different set of symptoms depending on age of onset, severity, level of functioning, social interaction challenges and number and particular kind of symptom. It occurs in all kind of racial, ethnic and economic group.
According to Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5), Individual with ASD have following signs and symptoms
- Either they are unable to communicate and interact with other people or have huge difficulty to do so.
- They have restricted interest and pattern of repetitive behaviours.
ASD is also accompanied by other medical conditions like epilepsy, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and gastrointestinal dysfunctions. All these symptoms are sometime associated with some kind of abnormal sensory needs too. Due to these inabilities they are unable to function properly at school, at work or in the community they live. Even though ASD is a lifelong disorder but after taking treatment and services they can improve a lot in their symptoms and functioning abilities.
Signs and symptoms of ASD
Following are the early signs and red flags present in individual who are diagnosed with ASD. Individual having ASD usually struggle in two sphere-
- Social communication and interaction
- Having little or no eye contact
- They tend not to look or listen to people
- Depict difficulties during back and forth conversation
- Don’t or delay respond to people calling their name or getting their attention
- They don’t share their object or activity of enjoyment with others, even with their close family members. They usually try to communicate with their close relatives by showing or pointing at it
- They have unusual voice tone that may sound like robot or flat or sing song
- They have difficulty to understand other people’s point of view
- Unable to express or communicate their desires and needs
- They are unable to predict or understand another people’s action
- They usually continue to talk about a topic of their interest for long period of time without perceiving that either others are not interested in it or they are not getting the chance to speak
- Their facial expression, gestures and movement don’t even match with what is being said
- Laughing and crying without any apparent cause
- Likes solitude. Having hard time making friends of same peer group
- No imaginative play
- Repetitive behaviours and restricted interest.
- Keep on repeating certain behaviours like flapping of hands, twirling a string, spinning objects and rocking.
- They may have unusual behaviours like repeating words or phrases or what is being said to them also called as echolalia.
- Highly focused or interested in certain topics like facts, numbers, letters etc.
- Playing with the toys in unusual manner
- Inappropriate passiveness to any object or thing.
- Excessive tantrums especially during transitioning from one activity or place to other.
- Get upset when there is even a slight change in their routine. They want everything in same order.
- They have excessively focused interests like looking at moving objects, looking on the moving wheels of a vehicle or looking at lined objects.
- They are either more or less sensitive to the sensory input present in their environment as compared to other people like hyper or hypo sensitive to noise, light, touch, temperature or clothing.
They may also have sleep disorders, sensory problems, emotional difficulties uneven cognitive abilities and eating issues. It is very important to know that individual with ASD may vary in their needs, abilities and skills.
Causes of ASD
The research suggests that there is difference in the development of central nervous system and brain that leads to ASD. But the exact cause of this difference is unknown. Researchers also propose that genes acting together with environmental factors can affect the development. Some risk factors that contribute to ASD are
- Intake of some medicines during pregnancy
- Having low birth weight and metabolic imbalances
- Having a sibling with ASD
- Exposure to environmental chemicals
- Pregnancy at older age
- Genetic predisposition and individual having certain genetic disorders like Down’s Syndrome, Fragile X etc.
- Preservative added to vaccines may cause some effects.
Diagnosis Of ASD
There is no laboratory diagnostic test for ASD. But the pediatrician and doctors diagnose ASD by taking detailed developmental history and observing the behaviour of the individual for few sessions. This is also known as screening process. After that team of doctors and health professionals like child psychologist, neuropsychologist, developmental pediatrician, speech language pathologist performs some assessment to find the severity of the symptoms, cognitive level and language abilities. Evaluation and assessment then guide us with the treatment plan.
Treatment and therapies
The treatment for ASD should commence soon after the diagnosis is made. Early the treatment and intervention, more improvement can be observed. With proper treatment individual can learn new skills faster and build upon their strengths. Giving medication and therapies may help to reduce their irritability, aggression, improve their sleep, decrease their repetitive behaviours, hyperactivity and help then with their anxiety, depression and attention issues.
The homeopathic approach for the treatment of ASD is by holistic approach. Holistic means mind body healing. A detail case is taken including all mind, physical, emotional, peculiar and behavioural symptoms of the individual. After doing complete case taking, the symptoms are repertorised and evaluated to find the most indicated similimum remedy for the case. The exact smilimum is prescribed to the individual to see the desired changes.
At Apple Health Clinic we provide dedicated solutions for the improvement of all special need children through our experienced and trusted methodology of selecting Homeopathic medicines with latest advances software and techniques. We work as a team to maximise the results and efficacy. After regular treatment we have seen so much improvement in these patients that their symptom reduces and their learning capabilities improves especially if the treatment is started at a very early age. We believe that there is curative homeopathic medicine made for everyone who needs it, but only dedication and perseverance can lead to lifelong possibilities of cure. Over the years of experience, we have gone through so many difficult and fascinating journeys of cures leading to so many satisfied patients.