AUTISM: A DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER

By: Anita O. Uzama

Case Manager


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Autism is a neurological disorder which affects the communication process of kids within the ages of 1 to 2 years and adulthood. Autism also called ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) affects the social interactions of kids and places restrictions on their cognitive and learning abilities.

Autism can be noticed early in a child’s life and this makes it easy for the child to be placed on special attention by the Parents. The likely signs of autism at cradle is that the child will not be able carry out  activities expected at their age. 

Babies at that age communicate with a smile, movements, gestures or cry out when in pain. When a baby does not  communicate in this way, more attention has to be placed on them especially if it continues. The symptoms to be observed for are:

  • Inability  to make eye contacts
  • Having a monologue conversation
  • Difficulty in expressing emotions
  • Problems pronouncing words
  • Difficulty with tying shoe lace, zippers and buttons
  • Trouble learning the alphabets, numbers,shapes,colors etc
  • Difficulty in keeping a tidy room
  • Slow to learn new skills
  • Having difficulties remembering time and sequence
  • Unable to blend sounds to make words
  • Having difficulties in writing, reading and solving basic math

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Symptoms of Autism differ at each stage. Once a change has been noticed in a child, it is important to see a medical personnel. This is in order to ensure that a proper diagnosis is conducted. 

A child diagnosed with autism can still be able to fit into society. The important thing to do is to understand that your child is special and may have difficulty in keeping up with his/her peers. Children with autism are quite smart and intelligent when their gifts are harnessed in the proper way.

 

It is up to parents to pay special attention to them, discover what they are good at and encourage them to develop it to full potential. Just as much a child with autism deserves special care, parents should not neglect their other children. Their siblings should be able to understand why special attention is being paid to a child with autism so as they can be his/her testing ground into communicating with peer groups.

Parents can also send an autistic child to a special school for children with Autism where they can be more developed,effectively  learn to communicate , be able to blend in with normal kids and also achieve their dreams. Checking sites like Help guide and other medical journals  on Autism will enable parents to have a broader knowledge and understand their child better. 

Adults with Autism who were not diagnosed at cradle tend to be described as dull, lazy and foolish due to their inability to:

  • Understand their environment  and make social interactions
  • Don’t like being touched
  • Unable to understand another person’s point of view or actions
  • Constantly repeating words and acting childish
  • Unable to hold conversations for long except when talking to themselves
  • Making use of hand gestures, facial expressions and movements inconsistent with conversations.
  • Comes across as being aloof, strange , detached and prefers to be alone.
  • Obsessive attachments to unusual objects
  • Strong need for order and routines.
  • Difficulty following directions
  • An unusual tone of voice that may sound flat and robot-like

 

Early detection of Autism is very important as the child is able to understand that he is different from his peers and very special. Here are some examples of people who were diagnosed with autism and have become famous. People like Dan Aykroyd, Susan Boyle, Tim Burton, Temple Grandin, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Woody Allen, Daryl Hannah,Albert Einstein and a host of other celebrities(“History’s 30 most inspiring people on the Autism spectrum” and “20 Incredibly Successful People on the Autism Spectrum”)

One of our core missions at Infinite Respite Foundation is to facilitate the gradual integration of children and adults with disabilities into the society. This can be done by the provision of  basic education, provision of  special equipment and a conducive learning environment. 

Join us as a volunteer today or as a Sponsor. Remember “every child deserves a quality education”

 

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