Healthzia – It is not easy to understand the behavior of children suffering from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or commonly known as autism. However, parents can find out the cause of autism and the accompanying symptoms in order to find the right therapy for children.
Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complicated condition that includes problems with communication and behavior. It can involve a wide range of symptoms and skills. ASD can be a minor problem or a disability that needs full-time care in a special facility.
What are the symptoms of a child with autism spectrum disorder?
Symptoms of autism that appear in children can vary. However, the aspect most affected is usually his ability to interact and communicate with other people, for example:
- Not babbling or cooing when she was a baby
- Does not respond when his name is called
- Speak in an unusual tone of voice, such as a robotic voice
- Avoid eye contact
- Experiencing speech delays
- Trouble keeping up with other people
- Often repeats certain phrases
- Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings and unable to express their own feelings.
Because autistic children have communication disorders, they will also repeatedly exhibit strange behavior patterns, such as:
- Having excessive interest in a certain topic. For example, a child who is interested in the topic of cars will talk about it intensely and continuously.
- Often preoccupied with a certain object, such as toys or household utensils.
- Performs a repetitive motion, such as rocking your body back and forth or turning a switch button on and off.
- Arrange or tidy up items with a certain pattern. For example, line up toy cars based on their color gradations.
Autistic children cannot stand routines that confuse them. It can make him angry, frustrated, stressed, or sad.
On the other hand, about 1 in 10 autistic children also show savant syndrome. This syndrome occurs when a person shows extraordinary abilities in a certain area, for example playing music perfectly, is able to solve very complex math problems, or has excellent academic performance.
Symptoms of autism usually appear within the first 3 years of a child’s age, even from birth. However, it is not uncommon for children to show a normal developmental phase at the beginning, but the symptoms of autism only appear when they are 18-36 months old.
What is the cause of autism in children?
There is no known cause of autism. However, there are several factors that are thought to trigger a person to experience this disorder, including:
1. Genetic factors
According to existing research, autism can run in families. This means that genetic factors can cause autism. The presence of mutations in certain genes and genetic disorders such as fragile x syndrome is associated with an increased risk of a child developing autism.
About 2-18% of parents of children with autism are at risk of having a second child with the same disorder.
2. Environmental factor
Some research has shown a link between autism and exposure to heavy metals or pesticides.
3. Parent age at pregnancy
Pregnant women at an age that are no longer young, especially if the father is also elderly.
The older you have a child, the higher the risk of having a child with autism. In men, having children in their 40s, the risk of having a child with autism was 28% higher.
The risk increases to 66% by the age of 50.
Whereas in women, giving birth above the age of 40, increases the risk of having an autistic child by 77% when compared to giving birth under the age of 25.
4. Consumption of drugs or chemicals when pregnant women
Consumption of alcoholic drinks or drugs (especially epilepsy drugs) during pregnancy, can increase the risk of a child born with autism.
5. Complications in pregnancy
The risk of autism is also higher in pregnant women with diabetes and obesity, babies born with congenital diseases that are not immediately treated, such as metabolic disorders called phenylketonuria (PKU) and rubella, aka German measles, and babies born prematurely or with low birth weight.
Some parties also claim vaccines, such as MMR (to treat measles, mumps, and rubella viruses), are the cause of autism. This claim is hoax. Since these allegations emerged, a lot of in-depth research has been done and they all clearly conclude that vaccines do not cause autism.
Another wrong assumption is about parenting. There are rumors that parenting mistakes could be the cause of autism, but this also hasn’t been proven.
Can autism be cured?
If you suspect your child has autism, don’t be afraid to go to the doctor. Early treatment is needed to reduce communication difficulties, as well as to learn new skills and use their strengths positively.
Therapy programs for children with autism include:
- Learn basic abilities that aim to make him independent
- Reducing rebellious behavior
- Increase or optimize their physical abilities
- Help him learn social, communication and language skills.
In addition to therapy, the doctor will also prescribe medication to reduce mental problems, such as frequent anger, aggression, repetitive behavior, hyperactivity, problems with focus, and anxiety and depression.
Most importantly, each child may need a different method of healing than other children.
Let’s love and protect our children from the various causes of autism above. Don’t hesitate to go to the nearest doctor to ask about the various complaints that occur to our children.