Autism is a problematic condition that occurs in early childhood and manifests in the form of abnormal social interaction, problems in communication skills, repetitive as well as stereotyped behaviors. The autism spectrum disorder basically includes a spectrum of psychological conditions that affect thinking, language, feeling as well as ability to relate to other individuals.
Autism spectrum disorder is commonly observed and approximately 3.4 of 1000 children between the age group of 3 and 10 suffer from autism. While treating this condition it is important to understand that the sooner it is identified the easier it is to treat it. In many cases pediatricians and family members tend to feel that the child is slow and may catch up and so this condition may not be identified.
Autism spectrum disorder is also called pervasive development disorder and it actually includes some disorders that can be diagnosed in the early childhood period. The disorders in these groups can include autistic disorder, pervasive development disorder (not otherwise specified) and asperger syndrome. Rett syndrome along with childhood disintegrative disorder is also part of this spectrum.
Children suffering from autism spectrum disorder tend to display unusual responses to the sensory experiences. These symptoms along with deficits in verbal, nonverbal communication and social interaction may be between mild or severe. The symptoms associated with the condition may be differently present in different children.
With autism spectrum disorder some children may have problems in learning how to read while others may exhibit problems in social interaction. The children may have different problems in social, behavioral and communication areas and all this together can allow for a diagnosis of the condition. Those suffering from this condition do not display normal development patterns.
While some children may display problems from birth other children may start lagging behind as they grow. The aspects that may point towards possible autism spectrum disorder include lack of babbling, pointing till the age of 1. Children may not make meaningful gestures and may not speak a single word by the age of 16 months. In some cases the child may not respond to his/her name and lose social skills or language skills.
Other indicators of autism spectrum disorder include lack of eye contact, excessive lining up of toys along with other objects, high attachment to a particular objects or toys. The child may line up toys and other objects excessively, may not smile and may seem to have hearing problems. Children suffering from this condition may display an indifference towards other individuals and may prefer being alone. They may avoid cuddling and may not respond to anger or affection from the parents.
Those suffering from the problem of autism spectrum disorder are not able to understand and interpret subtle social cues like winking, smiling and grimacing. Children suffering from this condition may find if problematic to use words and combine them in sentences that are meaningful. Some others may speak in single words and others may repeat a single phrase continuously.
Children with this condition appear to be physically normal but their odd and repetitive motions tend to set them apart from the other children. These repetitive behaviors tend to be either subtle or easily apparent. Any sudden changes in routine can be extremely disturbing for these children.