Autism in Children What Parents Should Do
Autism spectrum disorder is a complex neurological disorder of the brain; which today is considered as a global universal and life-long problem. According to the World Health Organization, there is at least one child with autism in every 100 children. According to America’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every 36 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
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Various studies have found that boys are almost four times more likely to have autism traits than girls. Although no specific cause has been found, several studies have identified genetic variation in autism traits.
When a child is born in a family, the child is the focus of all the family’s enthusiasm. It is impossible to tell whether a child has autism by looking at his appearance immediately after birth, because autism spectrum disorder refers to a complex set of characteristics, such as behavioral problems, differences in social communication, and repetitive or restricted behaviors that gradually manifest with age.
Many people do not understand that autism spectrum disorder is a type of disability. Many want to make disability visible through a person’s appearance or a body defect. As a result, many people look for differences in the appearance or body of autistic children and mistake any other disabled child for autistic children.
When a child doesn’t look when their name is called, can’t hold attention, follow directions, or doesn’t speak age-appropriately or understand language, many assume that things will get better with age. It is often not understood by everyone that language impairment is not the same thing as a delay in speech or language expression and the effects of autism characteristics.
Where it is necessary to quickly identify the child with autism characteristics and take quick management through integrated treatment, many people keep delaying thinking that speech will develop with the age of the child, as a result, the child is deprived of age-appropriate treatment for various problems related to autism. While some of the autistic children can speak and some cannot speak, but their main problem is in social communication.
Every child with autism is different. Each child’s cognitive process, ability to acquire skills and limitations are analyzed separately, sometimes individually, sometimes in small groups, by fixing the goals of their improvement and taking different medical management. But it can be seen that there is confusion here too. Many people tend to treat autism as a complex and long-term illness, or treat the child as a disease. In this, the child’s autism-related management complications continue to increase.
It is important to see a child with autism to a child development specialist or a pediatrician skilled in this field because of the importance of diagnosing and treating the complications that often coexist with autism (eg, seizures, constipation, sleep problems, medication and counseling to improve brain development and attention, etc.). .
In addition to the physical growth of a child with autism characteristics, it is necessary to carry out tests and assessment based on various tools at the right time to see if the child’s mental development is progressing properly, and through this, the analysis of the child’s autism characteristics and the severity of autism come out through various scoring.
Many times, parents of children with autism need advice and guidance from mental health experts, child psychologists and psychotherapists and counseling psychologists to accept and cope with depression, anxiety and the fact that the child has autism.
Rehabilitation health care, such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, is the most recognized means, including the World Health Organization, to improve the quality of life of children with autism characteristics. This therapy should be taken regularly as per the needs of the child and the therapy will vary based on the age and development of the child.
Parents of children with autism often struggle to overcome this long and difficult path. Not being able to accept that the child has autism, not understanding what to do or who to go to at the right time, non-cooperation of other family members and the negative attitude of people from different classes and professions in the society, many parents become mentally upset.
As a result, the relationship between many parents leads to conflict, quarrels and even separation, so that the lives of many autistic children become terribly unsafe. Moreover, it is also quite costly as it requires long-term, multi-faceted and integrated management.
When a child is just starting to grow in the mother’s arms, it is difficult to understand or tell if the child has autism. Autism identification, problem identification and integrated treatment management should be initiated immediately if the symptoms appear slowly or if any developmental problems occur.
Positive thinking and attitude of all in our society is needed in the development of different skills of children with autism characteristics, in the application of skills. Instead of considering the limitations of a child with autism as his weakness, instead of breaking all the stereotypes of the society, along with the various initiatives of the government in this sector, we all have a better mentality to take the country a few steps forward in the sustainable development target. In the end, I wish that autism should not be a disease or a problem in our minds and hearts but rather a tolerable and diverse personality.
Author: Speech and Language Therapy Physician, Executive Director, Bangladesh Therapy and Rehabilitation Foundation and President, Society of Speech and Language Therapists.
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