Autism is a neurobehavioral and developmental disorder which affect all the areas of the development of child. Although the presentation varies form child to child but, mainly it is recognised by poor social skills, delayed speech development and poor communication skills and stereotypical behaviour. It is a life long disability. It can happen at birth, or a child may have a period of normal development followed by a deterioration of verbal and social skills around 1 1/2-2 1/2 years

Autism is one of five disorders coming under the umbrella of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), a category of neurological disorders characterized by “severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development,”. There is no known single cause for autism, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in autistic versus non autistic children. Many theories explain the causes which vary from the poor child and parent interaction in early developmental period, environmental factors and genetic factors.

Generally, Autism is detected by the age of 3 years, when the child development is delayed in social, communication and emotional areas. However, parents may delay the treatment as most of the child with autism develops physically normal. The early red flag signs may help parent to detect the Autism earliest. The Child who shows signs:
Poor eye contact.
Child looks like aloof and isolated or involved in self only
Lack social interaction (like playing alone, not interacting to to others, showing no signs of recognising the parents or relatives), poor understanding of social and non verbal cues.
Repetitive play or poor imagination
Poor/delay in speech and communication development (poor babbling, not able to speak in sentences, poor non-verbal communication, poor use of gestures)
Behaviour problem (stubborn, head banging, hitting, screaming)
Sensory issues (Hyperactivity, feeding problems, restlessness, anxiety, avoid hugging and touching, poor tolerance to light, high pitch volume)
Poor gross/fine movements (repetitive falls, writing problems like poor handwriting)
Hyperactivity, looks like ill behaved and attention deficit.
Delayed in learning or associated with mental retardation to some.
Poor adjustment in school, with friends, family members
Physically the child develops normally but lags behind in communication and social skills

If any of the above signs are noticed in your or neighbour’s children then contact to your nearest Early interventionist, Paediatrician, Child Psychologist, or psychologist.

Sakshum is well equipped to provide the facilities including the assessment, diagnosis, family counselling, home based treatment, occupational therapy, Early intervention, speech and language therapy with education support. Most of the time the sessions are provided one on one and individualized.

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