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Autism: symptoms, causes and types

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The Autism is a disorder in which affected normal information processing, altering the function of the nerve cells union, which harms the development of social relations and verbal and nonverbal communication in a child. Generally, it is detected in the first three years of life and has a progressive advance, this alteration is the best known within generalized development disorders and has a worldwide incidence of 3 to 6 children per thousand and its development is more likely in the male sex. At FastlyHealwe explain the symptoms, causes and types of autism .

Symptoms of autism

Children with this disorder are characterized by problems with some games, with verbal and non-verbal communication and with social relationships, these symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some of the symptoms of autism are:

  • Regarding the interaction with others, they do not usually participate in interactive games, they do not show empathy, they are withdrawn and they prefer to be alone.
  • They are very sensitive to their five senses, physical contact may overwhelm them, they may develop a decreased or increased response to pain, they are hyperactive or overly passive, they have short attention spans, they make repetitive body movements , they may have fits of rage intense, they become distressed if their routines are changed and they show an unusual attachment to some objects .
  • With regard to communication, they may not develop language, they repeat words or messages, such as television commercials, they cannot initiate or maintain a conversation, they communicate with gestures and they do not refer to themselves.
  • They do not show empathy , in addition to the social alteration that this disorder entails, it also refers to the fact that they are literal people so any emotion or behavior is difficult for them to interpret.
  • They do not have the capacity for self-recognition, so they usually talk about them in the third person.
  • Other symptoms that may occur are: anxiety and sleep disorders and gastrointestinal disorders.

Causes of autism

Although there are many theories about the causes of autism , the most likely is related to abnormalities in the development of the brain during pregnancy or the presence of one or more defective genes. Some of the causes of autism that are still valid are:

  • Genetics : This is perhaps the most certain cause and has been shown through clinical studies conducted on twins. When there is a probability that one of the brothers has a defective gene, it is very likely that the other will also develop it
  • Neurological agents : neurological disorders especially in the areas of the brain that are responsible for learning.
  • Biochemical causes : some neurotransmitters such as tryptophan and serotonin can be altered.
  • Infectious causes : infections or exposure to some substances during pregnancy can cause malformations in the neural development of the fetus.

Types of autism

There are four types of autism and they differ from each other by the age at which the first symptoms appeared, the level of language development and the severity of the disorder.

  • Asperger syndrome : it is a disorder where empathy is lacking, the emotional and cognitive states of a person are not related.
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder : Some children may appear normal for the first few years, but then have a sudden setback, causing the loss of previously developed skills and symptoms of autism begin to appear.
  • Rett syndrome : it usually manifests at two years of age and is very common in the female sex, it is a congenital disorder and is characterized by generating a serious delay in all levels of development.
  • Generalized developmental disorder : affects the three areas of development, interaction, communication and behavior and presents characteristics of each of the aforementioned disorders.

Although there is no cure for these disorders , cognitive therapy once diagnosed can help to gain skills in different areas of development. There are also no medications to treat autism, but there are to control the emotional and behavioral problems that these disorders bring.

Diagnosis of autism

The diagnosis of autism must be made through several specialists, among which are: neurologists, speech therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists; the evaluation carried out to diagnose this disorder is based on cognitive and language tests, as well as neurological examinations to rule out other pathologies such as schizophrenia. The different symptoms are also evaluated according to which they appear according to the age of the patient, which for the different stages of development will be the following:

Symptoms in infants

  • Little interest in the environment.
  • Prolonged and unjustified crying.
  • Does not respond to the face or embrace of the mother.
  • He does not verbalize his name.
  • There is no social smile.

Symptoms from the first year

  • There is no emotional response to family members.
  • There is no verbal communication.
  • Perform repetitive movements.
  • Hypersensitivity to noise and textures.
  • Crying without apparent control.
  • There is no toilet training.

Depending on the degree of autism and the skills that are compromised, the diagnosis will be made to know the type of autism spectrum disorder in question, for example in the case that language skills have been developed, then it cannot be considered autism, rather it is about Asperger syndrome

Treatment for autism

Autism is a disorder that has no cure , like the rest of the disorders that belong to this group. However, in the majority of patients who undergo personalized treatment, they have a good evolution. Some of the treatments that can be carried out to treat autism are:

  • Educational behavioral therapies : in this case the whole family is involved and sessions are held where the objective will be to obtain fairly structured capacities oriented to the development of social skills.
  • Emotional and psychic therapy : here the idea is that the child begins to develop empathy as well as the recognition of their own emotions and those of others.The closest social group is also involved with the idea that the child can also work on their feelings and how to express them.
  • Medications : although there are no specific medications to treat autism, but there are some symptoms that can occur such as seizures, hyperactivity or impulsivity. The medications that are usually administered in these cases are anxiolytics, antidepressants and those used in obsessive compulsive disorders.

In most cases the prognosis is quite good if the indicated treatments are carried out, even a person with autism can develop an independent work and personal life.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Autism: symptoms, causes and types , we recommend that you enter our category of Mental Disorders .

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