Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex disorder of brain development. The major characteristics of autism are difficulty in communication and speech, difficulty in verbal and non-verbal communication, repetitive behavior. Basically, it can be associated with intellectual disability and difficulties in motor co-ordination .
The signs and symptoms of Autism are seen from age 2 to 3. In the meantime, Autism is seen in early brain development. Studies have shown that Autism is more common among boys than girls.
Regarding the cause, only one specific factor does not lead to Autism, as researchers say. They have identified a number of causes, including the events during birth, maternal illness during pregnancy especially which involve oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain.
Autistic children hardly speak and, even if they do, they may not speak in ways other people can understand. Their ways of expressing joy and emotions is totally different from others. They may not cry when they are upset, and they may not laugh when they are happy.
They do not usually have eye-contact. From their limited vocabulary , they have the tendency to repeat the same word again and again. Sometimes they are particularly sensitive to sounds and bright lights.
Recognizing the early signs of Autism is very important. Because early intervention is vital. In Nepal, most parents are not aware of Autism . We cannot deny that it is indeed difficult to know and accept that your child is suffering from something which has no cure.
So, the best thing to do is always know more about it. Yes, awareness is the must thing to deal with Autism. A family always goes through various stages before finally accepting that one’s child is autistic.
From shock to sadness to anger to grief, to even denial sometimes, the final stage is acceptance. It is only then that the family can deal better with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
After that, treatment is required. Although a specific cure has not been identified, there are treatment programs available through which children can learn the basic skills of social interaction and search their way to independence . In our country, people hesitate to accept the fact that their child is autistic, hence in such situations, treatment is totally out of the question. Currently, Autism Care Nepal is the only active autism organization run by passionate parents most of whose children are autistic.
All of us should attempt to understand Autism a little better and not judge autistic children as social misfits. They certainly deserve a better deal.