Autism (Kanner syndrome) is a mental illness that manifests itself in early childhood,read more here. But a reliable diagnosis can only be made by the age of 5. During this period, the child develops communication skills in a team.
Autism syndrome manifests itself in behavioral characteristics. The child seems withdrawn and prefers to be alone rather than interact with other children. His emotional contact with the outside world is impaired, and some strange behavior is observed. Most often boys suffer from this disease.
Causes of the disease
It is not known for certain why autism occurs. The majority of experts in this field believe that the basis of this mental disorder is brain damage caused by an intrauterine infection, for example, rubella.
Or it could be the harmful working conditions of the parents. Also, damage to the fetal brain during intrauterine development can develop as a result of Rh conflict.
A large group of scientists believe that autism is the result of the malfunctioning of certain genes and consider the disease to be hereditary.
But some medical experts believe that the cause of the development of autism is external factors, for example, family dysfunction or upbringing in an orphanage. A common cause is insufficient emotional contact with the mother.
Symptoms, signs of autism
Parents almost always become alarmed by the poverty of their child’s emotions. This happens long before the first visit to the doctor. Babies born with Kanner syndrome almost never smile and are left indifferent to the caresses of their parents. Sometimes it seems that the baby generally avoids physical contact with the mother.
When a child grows up, he shows almost no interest in peers and bright toys that do not leave other children indifferent. But he can sit alone for hours and look at his palms and fingers.
Quite often, autistic children are diagnosed with developmental delays. Often the parents of such a baby, and doctors too, get the misleading impression that the child has poor eyesight or was born deaf, since he does not react in any way to attempts to communicate with him.
As the baby grows and matures, oddities in behavior and deviations in the emotional sphere become more noticeable. For example, he uses facial expressions and gestures inadequately, avoids contact, does not look into your eyes, but seems to look through you. Often refers to people as if they were inanimate objects. Behavior is dominated by both passivity and inadequate activity.
He speaks monotonously, often repeating words and sentences. He monotonously repeats what an adult has said, or makes meaningless sounds. You can identify an autistic person by using the pronoun “you”, which he pronounces instead of “I”.
When communicating, unusual gestures, pretentious manners, a strange gait, etc. are noticeable. When playing, such children prefer to repeat a set of some similar actions. Instead of toys, children use household items, for example, clothespins, buttons, sticks, etc.
An autistic child's favorite pastime is various activities with water. He can spend many hours pouring it from one container to another, watching and playing with the stream of water.
Autistic people often exhibit a tendency to self-harm. They may bite their body, pull out hair, or bang their head against the wall. If this happens, parents should immediately show the child to a specialist child psychoneurologist or psychiatrist.
Treatment of the disease
There is no special medicine that can cure autism yet. Medicines, in this case, can only alleviate some symptoms. In many cases, doctors are wary of prescribing psychotropic drugs to such children, since there is no clear evidence that they have a positive effect on the symptoms of this disease.
The use of such drugs may be justified in cases of extreme agitation of the patient, attempts to self-harm, or prolonged sleep disturbances.
In such cases, small doses of antipsychotic drugs are used, for example, haloperidol, sonapax, rispolept. Antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, are recommended.
In addition, medications that stimulate the metabolism of brain tissue are used in treatment. Most often they take Cerebrolysin, aminalon, glutamic acid, nootropic drugs, for example, nootropil.
The most important thing in the treatment of autism is psychotherapy, especially family psychology , since the parents of such a child no less need the support of a specialist. They need to learn to understand their baby, learn to communicate with him correctly. In addition, it is important to realize and understand all the features of such a small patient with the outside world.
Equally important for children with autism are classes with teachers. The fact is that with autism, intellectual characteristics do not suffer. Simply due to a special way of thinking and perception, it is difficult for such children to study according to the generally accepted preschool and school curriculum.
Therefore, the teacher’s task is to determine the optimal way of teaching and, together with the doctor, to develop an individual training program that will make full use of the child’s abilities.
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