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Disability Conditions we treat

Home Autism

WHAT IS AUTISM?                                                                                                                                                                                          

Autism is a complex developmental disability that presents itself in early years of childhood. It is characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts and repetitive behaviour. It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways.

 A person with autism feels love, happiness, sadness and pain just like everyone else. Just because some of them may not express their feelings in the same way others do, does not mean at all that they do not have feelings - THEY DO!!

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Although autism is present at birth (congenital), signs of the disorder can be difficult to identify or diagnose during infancy

The severity of symptoms varies greatly, but all people with autism have some core symptoms in the areas of:

  • Communicating verbally and non-verbally
  • Relating to others and the world around them
  • Thinking and behaving flexibly

WHY IS AUTISM CAUSED?

The exact cause of autism is not known, but research has pointed to several possible factors, including

  • Genetics (heredity).
  • Metabolic or neurological factors.
  • Certain types of infections, and problems occurring at birth.

WHO IS AT THE RISK?

Certain situations and factors that increase the risk of developing Autism are-

It should be noted that these are risk factors, and not determinants, of autism.

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is not diagnosed using empirical biological tests, such as blood tests or brain scans. A diagnosis of Autism is made by a Multidisciplinary team after gathering and considering the following information.

  • Behavioural assessment and developmental delays.
  • Developmental and intelligence tests.
  • Physical exam including head circumference, weight etc.
  • Hearing tests
  • Cognitive testing includes Speech motor functions.

HOW IS IT MANAGED?

There is no single best treatment for all Autistic individuals, however most of the individuals respond well to a highly structured specialised program. Some steps that can be taken are-

  • Early intervention treatment like occupational therapy, speech therapy, sensory integration therapy and behavioural therapy, especially where aggressive behaviour is present.
  • Dietary treatment is based on the idea that lack of vitamins and minerals cause symptoms of Autism. Certain food items like dairy products exacerbate the symptoms of autism.
  • Medication might help manage high energy levels, inability to focus, depression or seizures.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?

Parents should keep an eye on the child’s developmental milestones. See a doctor if you feel that the individual’s language or social skills have regressed.

WHERE CAN THEY BE TAKEN CARE OF?

At HCRA, we have a holistic, structured and specialised program directed towards improving the child’s developmental level. The HCRA team, not only has a multidisciplinary approach including, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech therapist and clinical psychologist, they also work closely with the parents to guide them about how to work at home with their children. Counselling the parents is an integral part of the treatment plan.

 






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