What should we know about autism?

Autism is a profound pervasive developmental disorder which etiology is still unknown. Autism symptoms become apparent in the first 3 years of children`s life and has different clinical aspects.
It affects the normal evolution of the child, mostly three areas of child development which are:
• Social communication: verbal and non-verbal communication difficulties.
• Social interaction: difficulties in establishing relationships with peers. Children seem indifferent to others, they prefer to isolate themselves from others, because they do not know how to communicate with them.
• Restrictive, repetitive and stereotyped behavior, interests and activities: poor imagination referring to symbolic games and restricted repertoire of interests and behaviors

People with autism may present a series of behavioral symptoms including hyperactivity, hyper- or hiposensibility to sounds, light, pain, touches, smells, as well as a reduced attention. Often children with autism have different behaviors in excess such as: autostimulation, self-harming, aggression, hyperkinetism, obsessive and stereotyped behavior.
Many children with autism have abnormal eating behavior (a selective diet or consumption of inedible products), sleeping disorders, abnormalities of mood or emotional ones (laughing or crying without an obvious reason).

Autism doesn`t mean:
• a mental illness
• a contagious disease
• a refusal to communicate
• a consequence of education
• curable in any way

Autism represents:
• a developmental disorder that affects three areas: communication, socialization and imagination
• a lifelong disorder

N.B.! For parents` information: DO NOT WASTE TIME seeking for doctors, clinics and a firm diagnosis. Once you suspect or are certain your child does not evolve as it should, begin the interventions and cognitive behavioral therapy. Even if in time it will prove that the child does not suffer from autism spectrum disorder, interventions would not damage in any case a child with typical development. But a non-starting an immediate early intervention program for an autistic child would mean a long-term disaster, because he will have to recover more and more things to reach the appropriate physical development age.

 

Myths about autism
All statements below considered being true until recently are proved being false and not having any scientific support:
• Autism is a very rare state
• Autism occurs in families with “cold parents"
• Vaccinations can cause autism
• Autism occurs in industrialized countries
• The child manifests unwillingness to talk
• All children with autism have special abilities
• Children with autism do not make eye contact
• Children with autism do not show affection for others
• Autism is curable