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Autism and aspergers syndrome: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help


About autism and aspergers syndrome

This is a neuro-psychiatric disorder, present since birth and characterized by developmental disabilities. Both autism and Aspergers syndrome fall in category of ‘autism spectrum’ which are pervasive developmental disorders.

Autism and aspergers syndrome: Incidence, age and sex

These disorders are commonly seen in general population. The incidence of autism and Aspergers syndrome is more in boys as compared with girls.

Signs and symptoms of autism and aspergers syndrome: Diagnosis

The signs and symptoms of autism and Aspergers syndrome become apparent not before 3 years of age. Individuals with this disorder present generally with behavioural problems along with motor in-coordination. Behavioural problems include social inadequacy, increased frequency of temper tantrums and inability to perceive emotions of others. Awkward posture and gait, clumsiness and poor performance in sports are some signs of motor in-coordination in an individual with autism and Aspergers syndrome.

Such individuals may also have language problems related to speech delivery which may be robotic and weird. Delay in milestones in early childhood may also be seen. A handful of individuals with this disorder may show strange obsessive behaviour with particular things like music or certain activities. Learning to read and write may be an ordeal for such children. Special educational methods may be required to teach these children. It is not very easy to diagnose such developmental disorders and a detailed psycho-social assessment by a specialist is required.

Causes and prevention of autism and aspergers syndrome

The exact cause of autism and Aspergers syndrome is not clearly known. It may be genetic in origin since it is present since birth. Environmental factors do not seem to play any role in the development of this syndrome.

Autism and aspergers syndrome: Complications

Social isolation, poor performance at school or workplace and psychological problems like depression and anxiety may complicate the condition.

Autism and aspergers syndrome: Treatment

Unfortunately there is no cure for autism and Aspergers syndrome at present. The various treatment modalities may improve the symptoms and help the individual in leading an independent and successful life.

The management of this disorder includes psychotherapy which enables one to improve the behavioural and cognitive impairment. Special educational training may be needed for affected children in order to help them cope with school studies. Language therapy and sensory integration training also play a significant part in the management. Medications like antidepressants may be needed in occasional individuals. The treatment of this disorder may be incomplete and unfulfilled without the constant and persistent support of family members.