Autism is the most common and perhaps the most serious developmental disorder in children that usually shows up during the early stages of infancy and is known to obstruct normal brain development. The signs of autism usually surfaces during early infancy and is often diagnosed by the age of three. However, in certain cases, a child might appear normal until the age of two and might show symptoms of regression only after that. No two children affected with autism have similar behavioral patterns and their conduct may largely vary from child to child. While one autistic child may be verbal, aggressive and hyperactive, another child can be non-verbal and withdrawn. However, those affected with autism commonly suffer from impaired language development, bizarre behavior patterns and exhibit sensory and intellectual anomalies. Although the exact cause behind autism is yet to be known, physicians relate this physical condition to anomalous biology and chemistry in the brain, while some associate the disorder with heritability. Nevertheless, due to lack of any compelling evidence, autism remains “idiopathic” in nature, meaning “without any cause”. Although there exists no permanent cure for autism, early intensive treatment can make a huge difference in the lives of those afflicted with this disorder. Listed below are the common autism treatments employed to help autistic people deal with their lives in an improved way.
Treatments For Autism
Although there are no known cures for autism, behavior therapy can help downplay the hurdles associated with this cognitive disorder to some extent as well as offer some amount of independence to the challenged individual. Behavior therapy is a highly structured and skill-oriented psychotherapy designed keeping the patient’s needs and interests in mind and is aimed at behavior modification of an autistic person. Behavioral therapy requires strong, one-on-one training with the therapist and a health professional’s extensive involvement. Sensory integration therapy, play therapy, applied behavior therapy and social stories are some of the tried-and-tested behavioral therapies.
Communication therapy is designed to help an autistic person communicate and deal with his/her social surroundings in a better way. For those autistic patients who are born with speech impediments or cannot communicate verbally, communication therapy is the ultimate answer. It not only helps to initiate language development in young autistic children, but also bolsters communication skills in patients. ‘Picture exchange communication systems’ (PECS), a type of communication therapy, helps autistic patients to correspond using pictures, which signifies thoughts, ideas, actions, or things.
Although the role of diet in treating autism is debatable, it has been found that tweaking up the diet and introducing vitamins, proteins and other essential nutrients to the diet of an autistic patient can help to boost up their body metabolism, improve digestion and reduce all kinds of food allergies. Vitamin A, B and D together with magnesium can help enhance learning, attention span, behavior and eye contact in an autistic person, while Vitamin C has been found useful in improving depression and lessening the severity of symptoms in patients with autism.
As mentioned earlier, there is no specific treatment for autism. However, medications can be used to control several symptoms of this disorder like obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression and more. Medicines like anti-depressants, antipsychotic benzodiazepines and stimulants can be given to autistic patients to treat irritability, aggression, boost responsiveness, decrease hyperactivity and other behavioral disorders.
As autism is incurable by nature, parents can opt for these alternative treatments and other effective complementary approaches to help their child cope with this disorder. Aided by a team of trusted professionals and other family members, you can resort to any of the above mentioned autism treatments and help your child grow up in a finer way.