A violation of mental development, which is characterized by motor and speech disorders and leads to a violation of social interaction, is autism. This disease has a strong influence on the child’s previous development and on the whole life of the person in the future. There are no medical tests that could diagnose autism. Only by observing the behavior of the child and his communication with others can diagnose “autism.”
Include a group of disorders characterized by qualitative anomalies in social communication and a limited, stereotyped, repetitive set of interests and actions. In most cases, development is disrupted from infancy, always in the first 5 years.
In some cases, the disorders are combined and presumably due to congenital rubella, tuberous sclerosis, cerebral lipidosis, X-chromosome fragility.
The onset of the disorder is at the age of 2.5-3 years, sometimes after a period of normal development in early childhood. Usually these are beautiful children with a pensive, sleepy, detached face - a “prince’s face”.
Autistic loneliness - inability to establish a warm emotional relationship with people. Such children do not respond with a smile to affection and manifestations of the love of their parents. They do not like being taken or hugged. They react to their parents no more than to other people. Equally behave with people and inanimate objects. Almost no alarms are detected when separated from loved ones and in unfamiliar surroundings. Typical is the absence of eye contact.
Disorder of speech skills. Speech often develops with a delay or does not arise at all. Sometimes it develops normally until the age of 2 years, and then partially disappears. Autistic children use little of the category of “values” in memory and thinking. Some children make noise (clicks, sounds, wheezes, meaningless syllables) in a stereotyped manner with no desire to communicate. Speech is usually constructed by the type of immediate or delayed echolalia or in the form of stereotyped phrases outside the context, with the misuse of pronouns. Even by 5-6 years, most children call themselves in the second or third person or by name, not using the “I”.
An obsession with monotony. Stereotyped and ritual behavior, insisting on keeping everything unchanged and resisting change. They prefer to eat the same food, wear the same clothes, play repetitive games. The activity and play of autistic children are characterized by rigidity, repetition and monotony.
Typical also bizarre behavior and mannerisms (for example, the child is constantly spinning or swinging, fingering his fingers or clapping his hands).
Deviations in the game. Games are more often stereotyped, not functional and not social. Most atypical manipulation of toys, there is no imagination and symbolic features. There is a passion for games with unstructured material - sand, water.
Atypical sensory reactions. Autistic children respond to sensory stimuli either extremely strongly, or too weakly (for sounds, pain). They selectively ignore the speech addressed to them, showing interest in non-verbal, more often mechanical sounds. The pain threshold is often lowered, or an atypical reaction to pain is noted.
With children’s autism, there may be other signs. Sudden flashes of anger, or irritation, or fear, not caused by any obvious cause. Sometimes these children are either hyperactive or confused. Behavior with self-harm in the form of head blows, biting, scratching, pulling out the hair. Sometimes there are violations of sleep, enuresis, encopresis, eating problems. In 25% of cases there may be convulsive seizures in pre-pubertal or puberty.
Diagnosis of Autism
Doctors are not immediately able to identify autism in a child. The reason for this is that such symptoms of autism are also observed with the normal development of the child. Because of this, the diagnosis is often delayed.
If parents found the child’s symptoms of autism, they should immediately contact a child psychiatrist. Currently, many child development centers have been established, which will help diagnose and provide effective assistance in treatment.