April is Autism Awareness Month, and Friday 2nd April is world autism awareness day… an opportunity to raise public awareness about autism and also to celebrate the unique skills and talents of people with autism.
Training in the use of diagnostic tools and experience of people with autism is essential to meet growing need to diagnose autism. It is very important for medical professionals to understand emotional strain on families and they should guide them towards appropriate services.
Autism is a complex developmental disability which affects a person’s ability of social interaction and communication. Autism is a spectrum disorder which affects each individual in different ways and to varying degrees.
It is usually first noticed when a child reaches the age of three and is basically identified by three areas of difficulty for the autistic person: Social relationships and communications, imagination and planning, and repetitive behaviors. The autistic person may appear aloof and indifferent to those around him.
For some reason some of the cells of brain -especially those that affect communication, emotions and senses-don’t develop properly or get damaged.
Factors contributing are-
1. Genetic component
2. Environmental factors like viruses
There is no known cure for Autism but there are treatment & educational approaches that may help in improving quality of life for autistic kid & family members.
Intervention may help to reduce disruptive behavior and self-help skills can be taught for greater independence.
Treatment options are following–
- Learning & behavioral
- Diet, vitamins, minerals
- Complimentary therapies like music, art and animal therapy
- Occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy
Treatment should begin as early as possible and should be tailored for every child to meet his potential and needs. It should be a multidisciplinary team approach (requires co-operation between health care provider and educational institutes).