According to Statistics by CDC, one in every 88 children today is born with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) against a ratio of one in 110 few years back. 1 in 68 children in the US is diagnosed with Autism. With the number of cases increasing each year we must come to understand and accommodate the needs of the Autistic individuals. In developing countries like India the pressure on children to perform well in school is very high. With a rigorous education system and lack of individual attention children are left out and left behind if they can’t keep with the rest of the class.
Most of the time an Autistic child is considered to be a shy and slow learner. Failing to grasp what is taught in class and a lack of social interaction with classmates can further damage the confidence of an Autistic child. Parents are reluctant to have their child termed as mentally unfit and take the harsh decision of making their child continue in a normal school. As Autism is linked to being a hereditary disease some families are quick to pick up from the early signs but there are many who fail to notice these.
Symptoms of Autism usually start from the age of 6 months and become more clearer by the age of 3.
Delayed babbling in early childhood. The lack of natural speech for daily communication in the second and third years. No sharing of emotions or experiences, repeating words said by others.
Repetitive behavior in the form of hand flapping, head rolling or body rocking. Stacking of objects or arranging them in a line.
Autistic individuals respond far lesser to social stimuli as compared to other children their age. Lack of emotion, eye contact and facial expressions can also be noticed. Autistic children may not respond to their own names when called out.
In some cases early aggression, destruction of property and frequent tantrums could be linked to the Autism spectrum Disorder.
As Autism cannot be completely treated the main goal in treatment is to lessen the social and interaction deficits of the individual. Education for Autistic children should be entrusted to trained individuals who are keen in the development of the child and offer Autism Parent training. It is important to look out for the early signs in children to ensure the child receives timely help and support. If not started early, an Autistic child will find it excessively frustrating to cope with their surroundings.