Symptoms of Autism

Autism is a mental disorder which affects children. This disorder now affects an estimated 3.4 every 1, 000 children ages 3-10. Autism is one of the leading mental disorders that caused unfulfilled lives in many children.

What is autism?

Autism is one of a number of mental disorders called Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Discovered in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner by sudying 11 children, he called the term early infantile autism. At the same time, Dr. Hans Asperger described a milder form of the disorder which became known as Asperger Syndrome. These mental disorders are characterized by impairment in communication skills, social interactions, and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior.

What are the signs or symptoms of autism?

Parents naturally are the first to notice certain traits that are different or lacking in their children. In some cases, parents note that their child seemed "different" at birth, are unresponsive to people or are excessively focused on one item. Signs of ASD can also appear in children who seemed to be developing normally. If a normally engaging and talkative toddler suddenly becomes withdrawn, oblivious or indifferent to social overtures, silent, then there might be something wrong.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder range from a severe for, called autism disorder, to a milder one called Asperger Syndrome. Children may show symptoms of either disorder, but may not fit specific criteria. These cases are called pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Here are some other symptoms of PPD, ASD, PDD-NOS and/or autism:

Possible Indicators of Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Does not babble, point, or make meaningful gestures by 1 year of age
  • Does not speak one word by 16 months
  • Does not combine two words by 2 years
  • Does not respond to name
  • Loses language or social skills

Some Other Indicators

  • Poor eye contact
  • Doesn’t seem to know how to play with toys
  • Excessively lines up toys or other objects
  • Is attached to one particular toy or object
  • Doesn’t smile
  • At times seems to be hearing impaired

Are there other ailments may accompany autism?

Sensory Problems – Children learn from using their senses. But for children with autism, a particular sound, textures, tastes, and smells can be very painful or unbearable. Some with have an aversions to the feel of his/her clothes. Others would have a very severe aversions to some sounds that they cover their ears and just scream.

Seizures – 1 in 4 children with autism develop seizures. These are cause by the abnormal flow of current or electricity in the brain. As a result, any of the following maybe experienced: loss of consciousness, body convulsions, unusual movements.

Mental retardation – many children with autism have some degree of mental retardation. In most cases, a child with autism when tested, may display normal abilities in, for example visual exams but display very poor abilities in language exams.

Tuberous Sclerosis – is a rare genetic disorder that causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and other vital organs. About 1 to 4 percent of people with autism have tuberous sclerosis.

Fragile X Syndrome – Fragile X Syndrome affects about 2-5 percent of people with autism. It highly advised that parents of a child with autism+fragile X syndrome should reconsider having another child because there is a greater possibility of producing another son with the same disorder.