Introduction to autism and its treatment options

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Autism, also called autism spectrum disorder, could be a developmental disorder characterized by communication, social, and behavior challenges. The condition is lifelong and symptoms can vary considerably from one person to the following. Symptoms involve challenges or differences in motor skills and both intellectual and social abilities. People with autism may learn, act, think, communicate, and interact differently than folks that don’t have autism spectrum disorder.

Autism is cited as a spectrum disorder because there’s such a lot of variation in terms of the kind of symptoms people experience and also the severity of these symptoms.


While symptoms are often highly variable, they sometimes begin to look before the age of three. Parents may notice symptoms related to how children interact socially, their responsiveness to stimulation, and their ability to speak.

Symptoms of autism include repetitive behaviors, limited interests, and problems with interaction.


While people with autism spectrum disorder might not show all of those symptoms, they sometimes show several of the following:

  • Trouble making eye contact
  • Difficulty following and interesting in conversations
  • Extreme distress when routines are even slightly disrupted
  • Facial expressions that do not match verbal communication
  • Intense interest in certain subjects
  • Lack of enjoyment in activities
  • Problems expressing feelings or needs in words
  • Not engaging in “pretend” play
  • Slow or absent response to people trying to realize their attention
  • Sensitivity to sensory stimuli including taste, light, and smell
  • Stimming behaviors (i.e., self-stimulating, repetitive actions such rocking, walking on toes, or flapping hands)
  • Trouble seeing things from another person’s point of view
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It’s important to recollect that because autism could be a spectrum condition, people can have symptoms that are described as mild, moderate, or severe. Some people may have several or many symptoms, but only experience them to a small degree. In other cases, people might only have some symptoms in key areas but experience severe impairments as a results of those symptoms.

People who have milder autism symptoms are often ready to function in their daily lives, but they will be more likely to possess other mental state concerns including excessive stress, obsessive behaviors, sensory issues, anxiety, and depression.

Autism is sometimes diagnosed in childhood and it can occur in people of all economic backgrounds, races, and ethnicities.


During regular developmental checkups during childhood, doctors track variety of developmental milestones and screen for various kinds of developmental delays. When children don’t meet certain milestones, they will receive further evaluation.

During an extra evaluation, a bunch of specialists which will include a developmental pediatrician, a toddler psychiatrist, and a speech-language pathologist, will assess variety of things including age-appropriate behaviors, cognitive skills, and language abilities.


Some forms of tests which will be utilized in the diagnosis of autism include:

  • Autism-symptom questionnaires
  • Developmental monitoring
  • Hearing tests
  • IQ tests
    Autism are often reliably diagnosed in children as young as age two. Symptoms begin to seem during the primary three years of a child’s life.


While autism could be a lifelong condition, there are treatments which will help with many symptoms and improve people’s ability to function in several areas of life.

According to the National Institute of mental state, treatment should begin as quickly as possible following a diagnosis.3

There is no single treatment that’s best. People with autism have a good range of symptoms so implies that each person’s needs are different. a number of the treatment options that may be used include medications and therapy.


While there’s no medication approved for the treatment of autism, a doctor may prescribe certain medications to alleviate certain symptoms.

Medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), anti-psychotics, stimulants, anti-anxiety medications, and anticonvulsants may help with symptoms such as:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Attention problems
  • Depression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inappropriate speech
  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Behavioral and
  • Developmental Therapy
  • Treatment for autism often focuses on behavioral, psychological, or skills training interventions.

One commonly used approach is applied behavior analysis (ABA), a sort of therapy that utilizes reinforcements to show and reinforce desirable behaviors and skills.

Other common therapies employed in the treatment of autism include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Developmental and individual differences relationship therapy (also called “floor time”)
  • Early intensive behavioral intervention
  • Pivotal response therapy
  • Relationship development intervention
  • Verbal behavior modification

Such treatments are designed to assist people with autism spectrum disorder to:

  • Foster cognitive abilities
  • Improve existing strengths
  • Increase language and communication skills
  • Improve social skills
  • Learn adaptive skills that leave independent living

    Other therapies that will be used include assistive technology, therapy, physiatrics, and social skills training. Treatment also often incorporates aspects of caregiver training during which parents and other caregivers learn skills that may help them reinforce what’s being worked on in treatment.

-By Shinjini Chatterjee
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