ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Key Information About Autism

Updated on June 7, 2019
srirad0675 profile image

Srikanth is passionate about helping people improve their quality of life.

Overview

Autism is also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It refers to a broad range of conditions that affect communication and behavior.

Source

Types

 
Autistic Disorder
Asperger Syndrome
Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
Source

Causes

There is no known single cause for ASD, but many experts are of the opinion that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function.

Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and nongenetic, or environmental influences.

Various genes may be involved in autism spectrum disorder. For some children, the disorder can be associated with a genetic disorder, like Rett syndrome or fragile X syndrome. For other children, genetic changes (mutations) may increase the risk of ASD.

Prenatal viral infection is a non-genetic cause of autism. Certain environmental exposures in the womb may increase the chances of a child developing autism.

Symptoms

The range and severity of symptoms of autism can vary widely. Social communication challenges and restricted, repetitive behaviors are core symptoms of autism.

Common symptoms include lack of social or emotional exchanges like pointing, smiling, showing you things; lack of non-verbal communication such as nodding and shaking head, using hand gestures; difficulty in developing and maintaining relationships appropriate to the age, such as peer play, lack of close friends; delayed expressed speech and understanding of speech; lack of eye contact when speaking; loss of language skills at any age; excessively following routines, patterns or behaviour, and becoming distressed at changes; stereotyped or repetitive speech, movements or use of objects, such as rolling wheels before eyes, flapping hands, toe walking; strongly reacting to sensory input such as sound, pain or textures; restricted or fixated interests such as only playing with certain toys or discussing certain topics; and being aggressive toward other people or toward self.

Source

Autism is characterised by repetitive, stereotypical and often restricted behaviour such as head-nodding, and by the difficulties those with it have in reading the emotions of, and communicating with, other people.

Treatment

There is no medically known cure for autism; however, if it is caught in infancy, treatment can take full advantage of the young brain’s remarkable plasticity.

The most generally successful approach for children with autism is behavioral therapy.

Applied behavior analysis is often used in schools and clinics to help autistic children learn positive behaviors and reduce negative ones. This approach can be used to improve a wide range of skills.

It is important to work with your doctor to ensure that when medicine is chosen as a form of treatment, it is taken safely and effectively.

It is important that parents work with a registered dietitian to design a meal plan for their autistic child, especially if they want to try a limited diet.

Such providers can help to make sure the child is still getting all the nutrients he or she needs to grow into a healthy adult, even while on the special diet.

In mice bred to model autism spectrum disorder, scientists at the University of Tokyo found that exercise spurred the removal of surplus connections in brain circuits and diminished autism-like behavior.

Prevention

Research studies have found that certain actions can help pregnant women prevent autism.

One Harvard study found that children born to mothers exposed to high pollution levels had twice the risk of autism.

Pregnant women can limit airborne toxins by wearing masks, filling their gas tank after dark, and staying indoors when air quality is low.

It is advisable to avoid areas with high traffic, especially when exercising. For the duration of pregnancy, women should eliminate alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.

Switching to green personal care products reduces exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Some experts suggest avoiding canned foods, plastic water bottles, and excessive cell phone use.

Are you spreading autism awareness?

See results

The most harmful stereotype about autism is that it somehow makes me incompetent, or incapable.... I basically don't tell anyone about my diagnosis, because I don't want them to treat me differently.

— Brooke, autistic person.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Srikanth R

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 months ago from UK

      I have heard it said that everyone is on the autism spectrum, but presumably if this is so, most are low down the scale. Though I am not sure if this is true. There are certainly more cases of autism being diagnosed now.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)