How to Understand Autism, What is Done in Treatment?
Difficulties in the ability to interact and relate are the main indicators of autism. Most cases begin when the child is one or two years old, but usually the family has difficulty accepting this disease. Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital psychiatrists continue the autism treatment process with a collective effort and cooperation with the patient’s family and teachers.
Autism is a developmental disorder that occurs from the early years of life with social interaction, delays in cognitive development and communication, limited interests, and repetitive behaviours, and often lasts throughout life. Genetic and environmental factors directly or indirectly affect brain development in the mother’s womb and after birth, causing autism.
The incidence of autism in society is over 1 percent. Most cases of autism are understood when the child is one or two years old. Families often have difficulty admitting this illness first. Sometimes these difficulties are accompanied by guilt. This causes the disease not to be diagnosed early and the treatment to be delayed.
How Does Autism Manifest itself?
If the following behaviours are observed in the child, it is definitely beneficial to get the opinion of a child and adolescent mental health specialist:
- Speech delay Limited use of mimics and gestures and understanding,
- Insufficient social and emotional response.
- Limitation in initiating and maintaining communication.
- Indifference to children.
- Repeater movements.
- Restricted, fixed interests.
- Emotional hypersensitivity or insensitivity.
In order to suspect a child with autism spectrum disorder, not all of the features listed above need to be combined. Clinical evaluation should be performed even in the presence of a single symptom and whether the child carries risk should be reviewed. Early diagnosis and early intervention are vital!
What are the Symptoms and Clinical Appearance of Autism?
The main feature of autism is the difficulties in mutual interaction and networking skills. Mental retardation and developmental delay may accompany this, but not every child with autism has mental retardation or general developmental delay. Most cases begin when the child is 1 or 2 years old. It is usually noticed from the moment children develop their first social communication or say their first words.
Autism usually signals:
- After some children have formed a few meaningful words, the development of speech stops and a decline in social interaction occurs.
- Social behaviours such as responding to the child’s own name or parents’ voice are limited.
- In autism in preschool years; the lack of interest of the child in other children, limited facial expression, avoidance of making eye contact are important indicators for application.
- The child with autism spectrum disorder has difficulties in seeking comfort and tranquilization by others and sharing the situations he/she likes with others.
- He/she is not interested in other children, some may want to be friends, but he/she has difficulties in mutual interaction, some of them may show many social behaviours as they grow.
Autism can be understood in children younger than 18 months with the following symptoms:
- Lack of rhythmic interaction with mutual speech sounds.
- Lack of mutual smiles.
- Not being able to see eye to eye or avoid coming face to face.
- Sleep and eating problems.
- Not looking at the voices consistently, especially on their behalf.
On the other hand, the following limited repetitive interests and behaviours are also seen in autism:
- They deal with stereotypical behaviours, unusual interests, obsessions, rituals, hand finger body movements, objects in a repetitive way.
- Dealing with a narrowed area of interest most of the time, playing the same with certain toys over and over again.
- Insisting on sameness’ and overreacting to changes.,
- Do not exhibit excessive sensitivity or insensitivity to sound, smell, pain, food.
The determinants of the positive course in autism are as follows:
- Developing communicative speech by age 5 years.
- General intelligence level (IQ).
- Early detection and early intervention.
What is Done After the Diagnosis of Autism in Moodist?
After being diagnosed with autism in Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital, the family is first informed by specialists. It is conveyed to the families who have moved to the treatment stage that education with autism treatment is a long-term and difficult process. Thereafter, the patient’s follow-up and treatment program is quickly organized.
Complete elimination of autism spectrum disorder is possible with the early start of treatment. The aim of treatment is to minimize the child’s existing disability and develop his/her existing potential. ‘Educational treatments’ and ‘drug treatments’ are applied in the treatment.
Educational treatment is the basic approach. With this, it is aimed to develop in the social-communicative field, reduce unwanted behaviours and acquire new skills. The treatment process is continued with the collective effort and cooperation of physicians, psychologists, families and teachers.
In the treatment of autism, behavioural programs are also implemented to help develop and socialize the communication and relationship skills of the child. A drug that cures the main symptoms of autism has not yet been developed. However, Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital uses some drugs to treat anger, hyperactivity, repetitive behaviours and behavioural problems accompanying autism.
The information on this page has been prepared by the Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital Medical Team.