Ref: CHB/HB/031/15                                                                                  

This week CHB health bulletin explores the causes and treatment for children diagnosed with Autism.
 
We’re waiting to hear from you. Do you have a child that suffers from Autism? A family friend? A relative? Tell us your experiences.

CAUSES OF AUTISM
 
Not long ago, the answer to this question would have been “we have no idea.” Research is now delivering the answers. Reliable sources (http://www.autismspeaks.org/ and http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm#268283082) have tried to formulate the causes and treatment of autism. They are as follows:
 
First and foremost, we now know that there is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism.
 
Over the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. A small number of these are sufficient to cause autism by them. Most cases of autism, however, appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development.
 
In the presence of a genetic predisposition to autism, a number of non-genetic, or “environmental,” stresses appear to further increase a child’s risk.
 
The clearest evidence of these autism risk factors involves events before and during birth. They include advanced parental age at time of conception (both mom and dad), maternal illness during pregnancy and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain.
 
TREATMENT FOR AUTISM
 
The main goals when treating children with autism are to lessen associated deficits and family distress, and to increase quality of life and functional independence.
 
Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement.  The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of individual children. The earlier the intervention, the better.
 
When it comes to autism treatment, there are a dizzying variety of therapies and approaches. Some autism therapies focus on reducing problematic behaviors and building communication and social skills, while others deal with sensory integration problems, motor skills, emotional issues, and food sensitivities.
 
Common autism treatments include behavior therapy, speech-language therapy, play-based therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nutritional therapy.
 
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS A PARENT?
 
According to http://www.helpguide.org/articles/autism/helping-children-with-autism.htm the following are tips you can follow as a parent: 

  • Learn about autism. The more you know about autism spectrum disorders, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions for your child. Educate yourself about the treatment options, ask questions, and participate in all treatment decisions. 
  • Become an expert on your child.Figure out what triggers your kid’s “bad” or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. What does your autistic child find stressful? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? If you understand what affects your child, you’ll be better at troubleshooting problems and preventing situations that cause difficulties. 
  • Accept your child, quirks and all. Rather than focusing on how your autistic child is different from other children and what he or she is “missing,” practice acceptance. Enjoy your kid’s special quirks, celebrate small successes, and stop comparing your child to others. Feeling unconditionally loved and accepted will help your child more than anything else. 
  • Don’t give up. It’s impossible to predict the course of an autism spectrum disorder. Don’t jump to conclusions about what life is going to be like for your child. Like everyone else, people with autism have an entire lifetime to grow and develop their abilities.

Next time on the Autism spectrum disorder series:
How you can help your child diagnosed with Autism cope and develop.

Compiled by Dr. Neelam A. Ismail


 
“Community’s health – CHB’s priority”

Please bear with us while the Africa Federation Website undergoes some essential maintenance works.

afedDonateOnline

Join Our Mailing List



The Africa Federation is a member of The World Federation of KSIMC, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations

© Africa Federation | Site By LMNO.co.uk | SiteMap | feed-image RSS