Autism is a developmental disorder that usually starts in the first 3 years and continues throughout life, which can be expressed as the inability of the person to establish an appropriate verbal and non-verbal relationship with his environment. Today, it can be diagnosed early with simple tests. Early diagnosis and appropriate rehabilitation program play a major role in bringing these cases to life.
The cause of autism is not fully known. It is thought to be genetic. It is more common in boys than in girls. 70% of people with autism have mental retardation. In ‘10% superior intelligence can be seen. Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, mood disorders and epilepsy can be seen with autism.
What are the symptoms of autism?
In order for a child to be diagnosed with autism, he / she must have at least 6 of the symptoms listed below.
Inability in social interaction (inability to make eye contact, not paying attention to and playing games with peers, not showing normal gestures and emotional expressions, difficulty initiating and maintaining interaction)
Communication disorder (inability to speak, repetition of the same word (echolalia), not trying to communicate with children who speak)
Not playing imaginary or symbolic games (not pretending to play, repetitive simple activities, repeating the same routine movements over and over, being overly obsessed with part of an object, not being emotionally stimulated or overreacting)
In addition, children with autism show most of the symptoms listed below.
- Eye contact is either absent or limited.
- They don’t react when you call by name
- They can be extremely mobile or immobile.
- They don’t care about their environment
- They do not like physical contact such as hugging and kissing.
- There is a delay in speaking.
- Instead of communicating with humans, they are concerned with inanimate beings.
- They do not establish dialogue with their peers in the community, do not participate in
- games, they isolate themselves.
- Even if they learn to speak, they always repeat the same word.
- They don’t use speech as a means of communication
- They make inappropriate sentences and speak like a block.
- Their way of speaking and tones of voice are uniform.
- They can laugh and giggle at anything indifferently.
- They can become obsessed with a part of an object. (for example constantly playing with
- the wheel of the car)
- They can become overly attached to some objects.
- They have an obsession with order. They can get angry when their routines are broken.
- They perform a repetitive motion, such as clapping hands, jumping, turning around,
- constantly swinging back and forth, flapping their wings.
- They do not dream and play games like normal children, they rotate the cars and turn
- their wheels all the time.
- They play the same games all the time.
- Some of them can be very stubborn and combative.
- When they enter the social environment, they can be overly afraid and react.
- They often show eating disorders.
- They can hurt themselves and the surrounding property.
- They are insensitive to danger.
- They are insensitive to pain.
- They do not understand the joke or hint.
- They are insensitive to normal learning methods
How is autism treatment?
Early diagnosis and treatment are of great importance in the treatment of autism. The purpose of the treatment is to improve the social and individual abilities of the individual with autism. For this purpose, behavioral training and special therapies are applied. It is also important that the treatment to be applied is suitable for the family. Speech therapy, therapies to increase motor skills, and therapies aimed at gaining social communication skills are among the treatments applied.
Medications can be used in cases that accompany autism such as depression, attention deficit-hyperactivity, obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Parental education is also extremely important in autism treatment. There are legal non-governmental organizations that support families with autism.
Autism in Adulthood
Some adult autistic people who are diagnosed early and treated adequately can work and live on their own. Those with mental retardation and those who cannot speak need constant help. In addition, gifted autistic people can be successful in many areas (such as painting, playing musical instruments). However, his social skills are always limited.