Autism: A medical disorder
Autism is a development disorder that affects the human body and damages the ability to interaction and communication. Difficulty in social interaction is one of the noticeable signs of Autism in babies.
Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD affects the intellectual, social, emotional and physical ability of an infant. Parents can notice the early signs of Autism in babies within the first three years of their child’s life.
The signs of Autism in babies are restricted and repetitive behaviour and worsening of their communication and social skills with time. People with this disorder are not capable of thinking correctly and need special care.
Do you know? Who discovered Autism? When was it discovered? How was it discovered? We will now discuss the history of Autism here; let’s start! Shall we?
Did you know? In 1908, which is 113 years ago from today, A german psychiatrist coined the concept of Autism. He used this term while he was studying one of his patients who was withdrawn in his world. The term “Autism” helps us to describe the most severe case of schizophrenia. Thus, the world also started calling severe cases of Schizophrenia as Autism. However, history and development have changed the definition of Autism to a greater extent which we will discuss in this article.
“Autism” originated from the Greek word “autos”, which means “self”. This term was generally used to describe a person who needs to be kept away (probably in isolation) from society.
Till, the 1960s, both the terms “Autism” and “Schizophrenia” were like a mystery for the researchers. Initially, during the 1940s, Researchers in the United Kingdom started using the term “autism” for children who face challenges in social and emotional interactions. Also, A John Hopkins University graduate Leo Kanner used this term to diagnose several children’s withdrawn behaviour. Moreover, a German scientist, Hans Asperger, used the same term to describe a similar condition known as “Asperger’s Syndrome”.
Donald Triplett:- First Case of Autism( Check out the various signs of Autism in babies)
Born on September 8, 1933, Donald Triplett is a native American and is well-known for being the first person diagnosed with Autism. Leo Kanner diagnosed the symptoms and studied the behaviour of Triplett. Kanner labelled him as Case 1. Apart from the behaviour, Triplett also noticed the qualities or capabilities of the autistic person; these qualities include savant abilities, precisely the quality to name piano’s musical notes and the rapid mental multiplication ability. These are also the examples of early sign of Autism in babies.
During his childhood, Donald was an introvert and never responded to his parents’ questions and gestures. This is when his parents decide to institutionalize him at the age of three. However, they took him back after one year.
Triplett’s parents described his behaviour as “socially withdrawn” yet, excel in number patterns, music notes, alphabets and US president pictures.
Also, Triplett was able to hum sing clearly at the age of 1. His parents struggled with getting him to eat. Unlike other children, candy and ice-cream never tempted him. They got to know; their child was suffering from Autism only when they visited Leo Kenner.
Signs of Autism in Babies: Symptoms of Autism
- Signs of Autism in babies reflect the symptoms at an early age. They have trouble expressing their emotions and feelings and understanding other people’s emotions. They struggle in showing their true feelings as their mind does not work like a normal human brain.
- People with Autism do struggle with emotions. However, they excel in certain activities. They can understand analytics, maths, music etc., well. There are chances that they can excel in the test or exam in the subject they like the most.
- Common symptoms of Autism include minimum eye contact, no or intense interest in specific topics, repetitive actions like doing an action over and over, repetitive use of certain words or phrases, back and forth rocking and lever flapping etc.
- The signs of Autism in babies are hypersensitivity towards sounds, touches, smells and sights, which seem normal to ordinary people.
- Autistic children do not look at people when someone is talking to them or asking any question. They do not respond and remain engaged in what they are doing. These are the typical signs of Autism in babies
- Children lack social skills and social sense too. They do not respond well to cuddles or any physical touch and become irate.
- They struggle in understanding other people’s emotions or feelings, tone, voice, gestures etc.
- Some children usually remain silent and engage in their world. However, they respond in a sing-song, robotic or flat voice.
- The most vital signs of Autism in babies are that they face a hard time accepting the change in their routine. They hate to change their routine and like to stick with that.
- Some autistic children also have seizures. However, the seizures are rare at an early age but common in adolescence.
Types of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASDs)
The signs of Autism in babies can be diagnosed with the help of the instructions mentioned above. Now, the type of ASDs(Autism Spectrum Disorder) that we will discuss below were not considered in this category. However, with the development and research, they start falling in the same category. Let’s take a look at these types of ASDs one by one:-
- Asperger’s Syndrome:- Lack of social skills and score average or above-average on intelligence are the early signs of Autism in babies. Moreover, they do not face any issue with language.
- Autistic disorder:- This refers to a disorder in which children younger than three years of age struggle with socialization, communication and play. Most people think of this as Autism; however, it is different from Autism.
- Childhood disintegrative disorder:- This disorder occurs when the children are three or above and lose their communication and social skills. This type of disorder remains undiagnosed within the first two years of the children’s life.
- Pervasive development disorder(PDD or atypical Autism):- In this, the child might show some autistic behaviour, but it doesn’t fit in the Autism category. In this, the children show repulsive behaviour and delay in response and social skills.
The above discussed are the disorders that are somewhat related to “Autism” but are not precisely Autism. By now, one can diagnose the signs of Autism in babies without a doctor initially.
In the previous topic, we discussed the different types of disorders related to Autism and the early signs of Autism in babies.
As per researchers, there is no exact answer to “what causes Autism?”. The cause of Autism is unknown and unexplained. Moreover, according to a new research, there is no single cause for Autism.
Did you know? Autism attacks the part of your brain that controls sensory input and language processing. Once your brain cannot receive or send the sensory signals or input, it fails to process the language. Thus, a child with Autism faces difficulty in social and communication skills.
Research shows that Autism is the most common disorder found in boys in comparison to girls. It can happen to any person with any caste, creed, religion, family background, income, educational background etc.
An essential piece of knowledge is that Autism can be genetic. Yes! You heard it right. Autism runs in the family; therefore, certain combinations of genes may increase the risk. A child with an older parent may also be the reason for Autism. Giving birth at old age may increase the risk.
Other common reasons for Autism are:-
- Women who do drugs during their pregnant days are more likely to have autistic children because the drugs attack the child’s brain nerves directly and damage them. Thus, say NO to drugs to avoid the circumstances.
- People with diabetes and Obesity should be cautious. The chances of them giving birth to an autistic child are more.
- Autism was diagnosed several years back. However, it is still untreated, meaning there is no specific cure to treat or minimize the symptom. Children with Autism need full attention, patience and special care.
- Other known causes of Autism are genetic mutations, Fragile X Syndrome, low birth weight, metabolic imbalance, exposure to viral infections, heavy metals and environmental toxins, Consumption of fatal medications such as valproic acid(Depakene) or Thalidomide(Thalomid) etc.
- However, many types of research have proved that vaccinations can not spread or cause Autism. Only the genetic and environmental factors are responsible for determining whether a person has Autism or not.
There is no such specific cure for Autism. However, some certain therapies and medications help to make the people feel relieved and alleviate the symptoms.
Some of the treatments involve therapies such as:-
- Behavioural therapy.
- Play therapy.
- Occupational therapy.
- Physical therapy.
- Speech therapy.
The treatment results may vary from one person to another. Some people respond well to therapy; however, others may not.
Other treatments for Autism are high dose vitamins, chelation therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, melatonin(to address sleep).
I hope the article will help you to determine the signs of autism in babies. Thank you and goodluck!