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Aoas, Sigfred T.

BSN NPC-3
Autism

What is autism? it is a disorder that is usually first diagnosed in early childhood . The main signs and symptoms of autism involve communication, social interactions and repetitive behaviors. Children with autism might have problems talking with you, or they might not look you in the eye when you talk to them. They may have to line up their pencils before they can pay attention, or they may say the same sentence again and again to calm themselves down. They may flap their arms to tell you they are happy, or they might hurt themselves to tell you they are not. Some people with autism never learn how to talk. Because people with autism can have very different features or symptoms, health care providers think of autism as a "spectrum" disorder. Asperger syndrome is a milder version of the disorder. The cause of autism is not known. Autism lasts throughout a person's lifetime. There is no cure, but treatment can help. Treatments include behavior and communication therapies and medicines to control symptoms.

Autism is a wide-spectrum disorder Autism (or ASD) is a wide-spectrum disorder. This means that no two people with autism will have exactly the same symptoms. As well as experiencing varying combinations of symptoms, some people will have mild symptoms while others will have severe ones

What are the symptoms of autism The main signs and symptoms of autism involve problems in the following areas:

Communication - both verbal (spoken) and non-verbal (unspoken, such as pointing, eye contact, and smiling) Social - such as sharing emotions, understanding how others think and feel, and holding a conversation

Routines or repetitive behaviors (also called stereotyped behaviors) - such as repeating words or actions, obsessively following routines or schedules, and playing in repetitive ways

The symptoms of autism can usually be observed by 18 months of age. There are many possible red flags for autism - behaviors that may be signs or symptoms of autism. Some features may mean a delay in one or more areas of development, while others may be more typical of autism spectrum disorders. If you think your child shows red flags for autism, talk to your health care provider. What causes Autism Although autism is the result of a neurologic abnormality, the cause of these problems with the nervous system is unknown in most cases. Research findings indicate a strong genetic component. Most likely, environmental, immunologic, and metabolic factors also influence the development of the disorder.

Autism Treatment There is no cure for autism, nor is there one single treatment for autism spectrum disorders. But there are ways to help minimize the symptoms of autism and to maximize learning.

Behavioral therapy and other therapeutic options o Behavior management therapy helps to reinforce wanted behaviors, and reduce unwanted behaviors. It is often based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). o Speech-language therapists can help people with autism improve their ability to communicate and interact with others. o Occupational therapists can help people find ways to adjust tasks to match their needs and abilities. o Physical therapists design activities and exercise to build motor control and improve posture and balance. Educational and/or school-based options o Public schools are required to provide free, appropriate public education from age 3 through high school o Typically, a team of people, including the parents, teachers, caregivers, school psychologists, and other child development specialists work together to design an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to help guide the childs school experiences. Medication options o Currently there are no medications that can cure autism spectrum disorders or all of the symptoms. There are no approved medications specifically for the

treatment of autism, but in many cases medication can treat some of the symptoms associated with autism. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclics, psychoactive/antipsychotics, stimulants, and anti-anxiety drugs are among the medications that a health care provider might use to treat symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. Secretina hormone that helps digestionis not recommended as a treatment for autism.

Sceening

No babbling by 12 months. No gesturing (pointing, waving bye-bye, etc.) by 12 months. No single words by 16 months. No 2-word spontaneous (not just echolalic) phrases by 24 months. Any loss of any language or social skills, at any age.

Diagnosis Diagnosis is based on behavior, not cause or mechanism. Autism is defined in the DSM-IVTR (diagnostic and statistical manual) as exhibiting at least six symptoms total, including at least two symptoms of qualitative impairment in social interaction, at least one symptom of qualitative impairment in communication, and at least one symptom of restricted and repetitive behavior. Sample symptoms include lack of social or emotional reciprocity, stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language, and persistent preoccupation with parts of objects. Onset must be prior to age three years, with delays or abnormal functioning in either social interaction, language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play.