When a doctor first suggests that your child has autism, your immediate reaction might be disbelief and the urge to seek a second, third, or even fourth opinion.
Because autism is so different in every child, it is a tricky disorder to diagnose.
However, there are a few key ways in which doctors can efficiently identify autism in children, and if your infant or toddler is showing any of these signs of autism, you should visit your paediatrician immediately to express your concerns
Autism occurs at a young age, rather than being a disorder an older child might develop.
It is usually detected before the age of three, and many times much earlier.
The first signs or autism are usually delays or regression in speech communication.
Another early sign is abnormal behavior in group play situations and other social situations.
The first step to diagnosing autism is a thorough physical examination as well as a review of family history by a specialist.
Although your regular paediatrician will be able to spot unusual behaviour, you'll want your child to be examined by a professional who specializes in autism and other similar diseases to make sure your child is properly diagnosed.
The next step includes hearing tests. Sine language and social skill delays could be due to inadequate auditory sensations.
There are two types of auditory tests, one of which records the tones a child can hear and the other of which requires sedation and measures the brain response to certain tones.
Of course, the first method is preferred, since it does not require any use of a sedative.
After auditory testing, your doctor may encourage testing your child for Fragile X syndrome, which often times goes hand in hand with autism.
Metabolism can also be evaluated. To do this, your doctor will need a blood or urine sample to analyze DNA.
An MRI or CAT scan can also be helpful in diagnosing autism. The important thing is to work with doctors you trust.
Second opinions can be very helpful, but when your child has been diagnosed, stick with one doctor so that treatment is uniform and so that your child will get used to this person.
Autism is difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat, so remember that you should begin to learn as much as possible about the disorder as soon as your doctor identifies it.
If you have yet to speak with your doctor about abnormal behaviour in your child, do so immediately.
By detecting autism early, you give your child a better chance at becoming a high-functioning individual with much more opportunities in life.
Eliminating the Source: What Causes Autism
Many parents hope that in finding a source of autism, this disorder can be cured or prevented.
Unfortunately, scientists have yet to find one single reason why children develop autism.
It is possible that someday autism will be linked to a specific gene abnormality, but the more likely source is not one thing, but a number of factors in a child's world.
Autism cannot be prevented or cured, so the best we can do to help autistic children and adults is be understanding and willing to compromise to make the world comfortable for them and ourselves.
First off, there are certain things that do not cause autism, and these myths should be laid to rest immediately.
Most importantly, bad parenting does not cause autism. In the past, mothers were blamed for traumatizing their children with cold parenting techniques, which was thought to lead to autism.
This is simply not true.
Autism is also not caused by malnutrition, although food allergies occur in my autistic children and some autistic children do benefit from taking daily vitamins.
There are many links between autism and the brain.
Most people with autism have larger brains and they are "wired" differently than a typical brain.
Differences occur in many parts of the brain, so it cannot be targeted to one specific brain malfunction overall, but rather a brain malfunction in general.
Autistic children also show signs of an immune deficiency. Evidence in this study is not yet strong, but research is still being done.
Many autistic individuals have other health problems related to immune deficiencies.
Overall, these things all seem to point to genetics.
Although autism is not the parents' fault, it is most likely that autism was found elsewhere on your family tree, and it is not uncommon for parents to raise more than one autistic child.
Autism may also be linked to vaccinations, although this is still being highly studied.
The benefits of vaccinations greatly outweigh the risks of them causing autism, so you should not deprive your child simply because you are fearful.
Talk to you doctor if you have concerns about vaccinations.
Nobody knows what causes autism.
Therefore, we can do nothing to prevent and cure it, but rather we can simply treat the autistic people in our lives with the best of our ability.
Becoming educated in autism is the key-the more you know about the disorder, the better you can help individuals who suffer from it.
Autism is a complex problem, and as researchers develop new understandings of the way it affects the body, better treatment options will become available, with the hope that someday we will be able to cure this disease.
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