Autism spectrum disorder affects communication, social interaction, perception of a child and in some children the symptoms of the disorder appear early in childhood. Some other children have normal development during the first few months of life, but may suddenly show change in behavior.
These children may suddenly become aggressive or withdrawn, while some others may lose their language skills. Severity of the symptoms also vary from person to person.
Genes that affect brain development, or transmission of signals determine the severity of the symptoms. Environmental factors like viral infections and pollutants may also play a role in triggering the disorder.
Major risk factors for ASD are
Boys are more likely to develop ASD when compared to girls.
provide important clues regarding the presence of this condition.
Speech and language test suitable for a particular developmental stage is also used in the diagnosis. Performance of the child in structured social and communication test is also evaluated to check for symptoms of ASD.
Criteria for diagnosis is given in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by American Psychiatric Association.
As per the criteria, the child must have problems in different regions.
Social and emotional issues like inability to initiate and continue a conversation, inability to share experiences, and failure to share emotions
Using nonverbal communication techniques in social interactions like lack of eye contact and difficulty in understanding body language
Difficulty in developing and maintaining relationships like problems in making friends or adjusting behavior according to the situation
The child will have at least two of the following behavior patterns to meet the criteria.
Repetitive movements like rocking, spinning, or repeating words and phrases
Strictly following a routine and patterns of verbal or non-verbal behavior
Detailed or focused interest on unusual objects
Lack of sensitivity or exaggerated sensitivity to sensory inputs
There is no cure for Autism spectrum disorder and treatment strategies focus on reducing the symptoms and to support development and learning of the child.
Behavior and communication therapies help in treating social and behavioral issues of the child. It helps the child to learn new skills and to improve their social interactions. This helps them to survive well, although the symptoms are not cured.
FindATopDoc is a trusted resource for patients to find the top doctors in their area. Be visible and accessible with your up to date contact
information, certified patients reviews and online appointment booking functionality.