We have dedicated a special section to kids with special needs. Today we are going to discuss about Autism. In our next blogs we will discuss about toy needs for kids with Autism.
What is Autism? Also called as ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a medical condition. It is a neurobehavioral condition which affects general development of a child – mainly his/her social interaction skills, language & communication skills and Repetitive behaviors. It is called as ASD because of associated disorders like Sleep issues, Mood swings, Anxiety and Hyperactvity etc.
What kind of symptoms kids with Autism exhibit? This is important as a parent to understand so that we understand the reason of the behavior and take appropriate steps.
- Children with Autism have trouble communicating. And due to this they cannot express themselves properly. Not only by words, but also gestures
- They have difficulty in learning. They have difficulty in understanding the meaning of words or learn new words.
- Their social interactions become a challenge as they cannot express themselves and look at things from their own perspective. So they have difficulty in playing social games, playing in team and end up playing alone. This seem not to respond to anything, not even to parents gestures and seems to be lost.
- They exhibit unusual repetitive behavior. For example clapping, rocking, jumping or repeating some word or sound again and again. This can be intense and obsessive.
- There are many other associated behaviors and symptoms like Anxiety and Hyperactivity.
When do I start noticing these behaviors? A kid starts exhibiting these behaviors quite early on. Signs for autism emerge as early as 1 to 2 years of age. Symptoms can be mild or severe. Kids with mild symptoms need less help but kids with sever symptoms would need more help even for their daily chores.
This is where as a parent we need to make sure that we understand this and offer whatever help we can. Remember this is a life long condition with no cure and hence as a parent with help of doctors, therapist and special education teachers we can help the kid to communicate better.
What causes Autism? No conclusive answer. Scientist and doctors say that this might be genetic. If this runs in the family, kids have more chances of getting it. There are some other reasons which gets mentioned like age of parents or exposure to certain drugs and other conditions like diabetes and obesity.
So no one really know the exact reason. This is life long condition and hence lot of care is needed. As a parent we should not get angry at the kids behavior. Is it this dis-order which is causing this.
Please do share your experience with us which can help other readers.
In our next post we will look at the toy needs for kids with Autism!