By Dr. Debabrata Chakraborty, Neurology
Autism is characterized by specific behaviour patterns such as compulsive repetition, challenges with social interaction, and very unique and specific strengths and intellectual abilities. Here are five things you might not have known about Autism -
- Autism is not rare: Awareness of Autism as a disorder is not as wide-spread as one could hope for. Many cases remain undetected and unreported. But that does not mean that is a rare disorder. Or a serious one for that matter. We have come a long way when unconventional behavioural patterns were just brushed under the carpet as an abnormality. But the stigma attached to this disorder though has dissipated, it hasn’t disappeared altogether. And since there are no blood tests or any other medical tests for it, diagnosis can be difficult. But with the increased number of cases, one can safely say that it is anything but rare.
- The Symptoms of Autism Are Not the Same For Everyone: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of complex disorders pertaining to the development of the brain. The common misconception that people with Autism have superior intellect and special abilities is more fiction than fact. The thing to understand is that this disorder stems from impaired brain development. Though some might excel in music or cognitive memory, others might have great difficulty dealing with social interactions.
- Autism is not a mental disorder: Contrary to the uneducated belief that autism is a mental disorder, it is in fact a neurological disorder. It is characterized by brain abnormalities and has nothing whatsoever to do with mental health. Neither does it influence their ability to feel empathy for others.
- Autism does not cause Mutism: Just because a child who has been diagnosed with autism hasn’t spoken yet doesn’t mean he won’t. The language might be slow to develop, but there should be no permanent impairment of speech.
- Autism can be predicted: After extensive research, now it is possible to detect some of the pre-symptom markers of Autism. Though the core symptoms manifest themselves usually after or near the child’s first birthday, it is possible to recognize markers as early as the initial six months of birth. This will help parents adapt and seek treatments and counsel to educate themselves on their child’s needs.
A positive diagnosis of Autism can sink a parent’s heart. To see your child struggle with himself can’t be easy. Understanding the causes and symptoms will help people deal with their loved ones affected by Autism in a better way.