“Most people see what is, and never see what can be”– Albert Einstein
These few beguiling words of Sir Albert Einstein pretty much sum up the way the world works. Society is fascinated by physical or rather perceptible attributes. Anything that transcends the ordinary is scary for us, collectively, because we are scared of what doesn’t directly meet us in the eye.
One such phenomenon that is difficult for people to understand and hence, accept is autism.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Autism refer to a group of complex disorders of brain development.
People with ASD face difficulties in social interaction, including eye contact, verbal and non-verbal communication and showcase repetitive behaviours. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances.
However, not surprisingly, like any other child, persons with ASD excel in science, visual skills, music, math and art.
To fully fathom any disorder, its different aspects need to be looked into.
1. Rare gene changes or mutations.
2. A combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development.
3. They include advanced parental age at time of conception (both mom and dad), maternal illness during pregnancy and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain.
1. social-interaction difficulties
2. communication challenges
3. repetitive behaviours
4. failure to respond to their names
5. reduced interest in people
6. No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
7. No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
8. No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
9. No words by 16 months
10. No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
11. Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
•TREATMENT AND APPROACH TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT
It’s important to make sure your child has a knowledgeable and reputable healthcare team. This means finding doctors, therapists, psychologists and teachers who understand and have experience with autism and can respond to his shifting needs.
It’s particularly important that parents not blame themselves. The next step is to educate yourself. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more capable you’ll feel about helping your child.
For any parent of an Autistic child, the most important thing to do is try and understand the needs and emotions of their child even when it is difficult for the child to express properly.
Children with ASD may not be able to articulate very well, but research has discovered that they are extremely connected to their parents and close kins.
As has been mentioned, Autistic children are extremely gifted in practical subjects like maths, science, finance, and other recreational activities like music, films, etc. Hence every guardian must go out of their way to identify their likes and dislikes and contribute an exorbitant amount of endeavours to ensure that their child is able to have a holistic development while also focusing on their areas of interest and capabilities. Each child or adult with autism is unique and, so, each autism intervention plan should be tailored to address specific needs.
The most important thing to be concluded from all of this is that Autism is NOT anyone’s fault. It is neither the fault of any parent nor the fault of health, as research suggests vaccines, earlier thought to be a cause of ASD, don’t contribute to a child developing it.
ASD is a disorder that in most cases cannot be avoided. It is hence in everyone’s best interest to embrace an Autistic child with open arms and take every decision from thereon to help the child grow and learn and be the best possible reflection of him. Everyone has to understand that Autism is nothing but one disability for a child who has proliferate more capabilities to overwhelm and overpower it.
For every parent of an Autistic child, understanding your child is the first and most important step. From there it is an uphill battle for sure but every step of the way is sure to reap fulfilling and gratifying results.
On that note, I sum up with these thought provoking lines:
The sources of hope are the sources of life itself. That’s why hope persists, even when experience reason, and knowledge all say there is no reason to hope. Hope does not calculate odds…it is prepared for either sunny or stormy weather. To choose hope is to choose life. To choose hope is to choose love. – Chicko N. Okazaki
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Want to read more?
- A Creative Help
- Does Living Environment Affect a Child with Autism?
- The Difference Between Our Worlds – A Story About Justine
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About the School For Autism, Hyderabad
School For Autism is based in Hyderabad and provides therapy to people with autism, irrespective of age. To know more about the school, click here.
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