What is it?
There are a group of serious developmental problems called Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). These appear in early childhood — usually before age 3. Autism is one of these. Autism disorders affect a child's ability to communicate and interact with others.
How do I recognise it?
Social interaction, language and behavior are the three main areas that autism patients have serious difficulty with. Autism symptoms vary greatly and children with the condition can appear very different.
- Fails to respond to his or her name
- Has poor eye contact
- Appears not to hear you at times
- Resists cuddling and holding
- Appears unaware of others' feelings
- Seems to prefer playing alone — retreats into his or her "own world"
- Starts talking later than age 2, and has other developmental delays by 30 months
- Loses previously acquired ability to say words or sentences
- Doesn't make eye contact when making requests
- Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm — may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech
- Can't start a conversation or keep one going
- May repeat words or phrases verbatim, but doesn't understand how to use them
- Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping
- Develops specific routines or rituals
- Becomes disturbed at the slightest change in routines or rituals
- Moves constantly
- May be fascinated by parts of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car
- May be unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch and yet oblivious to pain
There is no single known cause. It is a complex and not well understood and probably due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
How do you treat it?
Like any disease, even if there is no cure, there is almost always something you can do to manage it and take control. There are three main areas involved in the treatment of any disease:
For information on medicines and therapies relevant to Autism, make an appointment at Lynch's Pharmacy, Broadale, Douglas, Cork on 021-4366923.
How do you live with it?
Certain adjustments may be needed to get on with your life, and often, some simple tips and advice can go a long way to making these changes.
We give you all the information available to make your life easier and enable you to better live with your condition.
Autism, a comprehensive overview- http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/search/search
Autism, information for patients, http://www.cks.nhs.uk/patient_information_leaflet/autistic_spectrum_disorder/adults_with_autism