People suffer from various disorders. The disorders range from mental, physical and emotional disorders. All the disorders affect the normal functioning of an individual. This essay looks at autism, which is a disorder, which affects children. The paper looks at how the disorder can be diagnosed and at various ways that the disorder can be treated.
Autistic disorder is also described as mindblidness. It is usually a neurological and development disorder that appears during the first three years of a child. This makes the child to be seen living in his, or her own world. The child does not have an interest in others and seems to lack social awareness. One of the most open symptoms of a child who is autistic is consistency in repeating behaviors that are peculiar and odd. They have a problem in communication, do not like to have eye contact with other people and more to that they expose a character of being antisocial. This disorder prevents a child from making or developing a healthy relationship with others. This is mainly caused to the lack of ability to interpret the communications from others. For example, the child may not be able to interpret facial expressions and emotions. The child may resist cuddling, like to play alone, does not like change and show some problems in the development of speech. Children with this disorder also show repealed body movements and reveals unusual attachments to various objects (Frith, 2003). Despite the above limitations posed by autism, children with autism do excel in some mental tasks, for example, counting measuring, art music and other tasks. Researches conducted on this issue suggest that autism is a genetic condition. The studies reveal that some genes cause the development of this disorder. The studies have identified a number of abnormalities in the way the brain is structured, and abnormalities in the chemicals found in the brain. One theory that explains suggests that the disorder is a behavioral syndrome consisting of several distinct conditions. According to a research conducted by Centre for disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the disorder is more common in boys than in girls. Children who have this disorder show different symptoms of the disease (Frith, 2003).
Various guidelines have been developed to help in the identification of autism in children who are below the age of twenty-four months. In the past years, diagnosis of the disorder was not conducted to children before they attained preschool age. The guidelines assist in identification of children with this disorder in earlier ages. If the disorder is identified at an earlier, age it means that effective treatment will be conducted. In accordance to the guidelines children, who are below the age of twenty-four months should be screened for autism in a routine manner in their health check ups. Those children who show some developmental problem should be tested for autism. According to the AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics, all children are supposed to be screened for autism spectrum disorders at the ages of eighteen and twenty four months. This is regardless of whether they show any signs or concerns in their progress, in the development. Early screening of autism in children allows those who are diagnosed with autism are in a position to be treated immediately. There are usually two levels of screening that are involved in standard guidelines, in autism diagnosis. The first level of screening is supposed to be undertaken to all children who visit clinics for well child check ups. This is done during the first two years of the child. The following limitations in development are checked: A child who is not able to speak a word by the age of sixteen months, loss of language and social skills, a child who has not made any eye contact at three to four moths (Exkorn, 2005).
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The second level of screening should be done if a child shows as having developmental delays in the first level. This second screening takes in-depth diagnosis and evaluation. The in-depth screening helps to differentiate autism with other developmental problems. It includes more diagnostic procedures by those physicians who are skilled in autism diagnosis. The skills required in order to undertake the second level of autism screening include electro physiologic testing, genetic testing, neurological evaluation and metabolic testing. The second level of screening should be done if the child shows development delay during the first level of screening. The second level of screening is more advanced so that the evaluation can distinguish autism from other disorders in development. It includes more formal procedures by physicians who have great skills in autism (Exkorn, 2005)
Genetic testing involves an evaluation of genes, as there are genetic syndromes, which may cause autism, for example, fragile-X. In this test, the geneticist determines whether autism is as a result of any genetic disorder. If there is a diagnosis of a genetic disorder, then it means that there are other health problems that are involved. The chances for austism to occur in a future pregnancy depend on the syndrome found to be the cause of autism. The increased incases of autism are because of several genes, which are inherited from the two parents, in addition to other unknown environmental, factors (Frith, 2003). There is no behavioral cause that is known to cause the disorder or any parent action known to be the cause of this disorder. It is advisable for people to consult their children’s physicians for get more information and for diagnosis.
There is usually no single treatment package for this disorder. Nevertheless, people with this disorder respond well to specialized programs available in treating this disorder. There are specialized and educational programs, which have been designed in treatment of autism. There is the behavioral therapy, which is used to teach social skills, cognitive skills and the motor skills. There is also the use of behavioral modification, which helps eliminate maladaptive behaviors. Individualized treatments are necessary because children show different behavioral needs. Another method of treatment that is known to produce good results is the early childhood and home based approaches trainings, which involve parents. Special education programs with highly structured focus on developing skills, self-care and language, are also used in treating autism. Mental health professionals offer counseling to parents, individual therapy and social skills training. They also help families to identify and participate in treatment programs, which are based on the needs of an individual child. This is because each child has needs his or her needs, which are different. Specific treatment of autism are determined by the age of the child the extent of the disorder, the symptoms the child is showing, and the expectations one has for the disorder.
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Medications are used in treating behavioral problems related to autism, for example, aggression, selfharming or severe tantrums. The medications used in this case are the ones that are developed to treat same symptoms in other types of disorders. (Tasman, 2009).The doctors give the prescription of these medications if they feel that they are appropriate for treatment for the child. There is a need to monitor the child while taking the medication and the parents are supposed to work closely with physicians when a child is undertaking the treatment.
There are also some diets, which are helpful to children with autism. The nutritious diet of a child with autism should be measured in a careful manner. This is because most of the times children with autism are put in special diet during the treatment process. The most appropriate diet for a child with autism is food that is free of gluten and casein. Vitamin B6 is also recommended as good diet for a child suffering from this disorder or who is undergoing treatment. To make the vitamin effective it is taken with magnesium. The magnesium helps the vitamin to be effective. Another recommendation given is the use of secretin, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Single dose of the substance is given to aid treatment of gastrointestinal problem (Tasman, 2009). There are reports that the substance helps to improve some autism symptoms, for example, sleep patterns language skills and alertness. Therefore, autism is a problem of development in children, which can be managed by proper diagnosis. The most important thing in treatment of this disorder is to make the identification of the symptoms earlier before they develop. Early identification of the symptoms helps the treatment process to be more effective (Tasman, 2009).
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As observed from the essay autism is a disorder which many studies have not yet realized its cause. Because of the fact that it affects children it is important that parents should be very observant to identify its symptoms in their children. As we have seen in the essay early identification assist to have effective treatment of the disorder. Parents should also make sure that there children are tested for this disorder as they visit the clinics. This will help to be able to realize the problem at the early stages. The best thing is that the disorder can be managed when realized at its onset.
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