What is Autism and How is it Treated?

What is Autism and How is it TreatedAutism, otherwise referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), encompasses a broad range of conditions that are mostly characterized by complications with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. A study conducted in 2020 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded that the prevalence of autism among eight-year-old children is approximately 1 in 44.

 

Autism is not one singular disorder, but rather a disorder of many subtypes. Autism is diagnosed on a spectrum, with each individual experiencing a distinct set of characteristics, strengths, and difficulties. A person’s ability to learn and problem solve can range from incredibly skilled to significantly challenged. Their level of independence can vary just as much, with some persons living entirely independently and others requiring lifelong support.

Causes of Autism

There is no single cause for the development of autism spectrum disorder, but it is generally agreed upon that it can be caused by abnormalities in the brain, either its structure or function. 

 

Experts have examined brain scans, which illustrate differences in the shape and structure of the brain present in children with autism when compared to those without autism. While an exact cause has yet to be discovered, researchers are investigating a number of promising theories, including heredity, genetics, and co-occuring medical problems.

 

There is a tendency for a pattern of autism or related disabilities in families, which reinforces the theory that the disorder stems somewhat from your genetics. It also appears possible that some children are simply born with a predisposition for autism, but why or how that occurs still remains a mystery.

Autism in Kids

ASD can be diagnosed very early in children. Some children will begin to exhibit telltale signs of autism as early as 12 months, with others not showing symptoms until 24 months or later. 

 

This means that your child can meet many of their early development milestones during infancy and the signs of ASD may not yet be recognized until they reach a certain point in their development. You may notice them begin to struggle more and more as they attempt to learn new skills or regress; losing already learned skills.

Therapy for Autism

There is no “cure” for autism. Rather, there is a range of effective therapy options and interventions that can improve a child’s functioning, which include:

 

Applied behavioral analysis – the study of the child’s functional challenges, and planning ways to improve their adaptive skills and decrease inappropriate behavior.

 

Social skills training – available as group or individual sessions, this helps children with ASD improve their social capabilities.

 

Speech & language therapy – focuses on improving speech patterns and comprehension of language and its nuances.

 

Occupational therapy – designed to improve skills deficits needed for daily living, as well as functional skills such as handwriting.

 

Co-occurring conditions Treatment – using psychotherapy and/or medication treatment, most of the following commonly co-occuring conditions can be effectively treated or managed, including:

 

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • intellectual disability

 

Medication – speak with your specialist to get a better understanding of what medication might be necessary for the health of your child. As mentioned, ASD affects children differently; and so any medication should be prescribed on a case-by-case basis.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Therapy Available at Poppy Life Care

If you have concerns about the development of your newborn or have begun recognizing potential symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, it’s best to consult with the specialists at Poppy Life Care to receive a professional opinion. 

 

Our team can recognize symptoms of ASD for the signs that they are, and can begin early intervention initiatives that can give your child the best outcome possible! As with most medical conditions, early intervention is one of the critical elements of successful therapy and treatment.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Service Available in Newport Beach, CA

If you have additional questions about autism spectrum disorder, signs to watch for, or any other concerns, reach out to the team at Poppy Life Care today! Our team is invested in the good health and development of your family. 

 

Call our office at 949-432-9174 to speak with a member of our team or schedule a consultation online today!

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