Autism is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by repetitive and stereotypical behaviors and a lack of social interaction and communication skills. It is the most prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder with unknown exact causes. This article will discuss what autism is, its causes of development, and the signs of the disorder to look out for in your child. Since it’s a spectrum disorder, your child’s symptoms could differ from another autistic child. However, each child has strengths and weaknesses that shouldn’t be ignored. 

What is autism?

      Autism can be best described as a complex developmental condition that impairs a person’s communication and social skills along with attention, learning, and cognitive skills. Autism can not be referred to as a disease but as a syndrome that could result from both genetic and non-genetic causes. Detecting early signs of autism is crucial for effective and lasting treatment.

      Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a wide spectrum of developmental disorders characterized by impairments in 3 behavioral categories:

  • Social interaction
  • Language, communication, & imaginative play
  • Range of interests and activities

What are the causes of autism?

      The exact etiology of autism is yet to be found. Still, several research studies have revealed that onset of autism is mostly linked to a complex combination of genetic and environmental factors. What is also known is that vaccines, socio-economic factors, and ethnicity are not linked to developing ASD in children or adults. 

      Some of the major reasons for ASD include:

  1. The presence of an autistic family member in the immediate family. 
  2. Gender of the child: boys seem to be more at risk of developing autism than girls.
  3. Age of the married couple: children born to older couples have higher chances of developing ASD.
  4. Significantly lower weight at birth.
  5. Genetic mutations.
  6. Biochemical events like cerebral hypoperfusion, immune dysregulation, activation of neuroglial cells, etc.
  7. Premature babies that are born between 22-27 weeks of gestation are more vulnerable to developing autism. 
  8. Medications like valproic acid and thalidomide taken by the mother during pregnancy can also be the reason for the early onset of autism.
  9. Environmental factors like certain toxic agents or heavy metals in the air can also be the reason for its onset but more evidence is required on the subject.
  10. The presence of other genetic disorders like fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, and Rett syndrome makes individuals more susceptible to developing ASD.

How does an autistic child perceive the world around them?

      Autistic children perceive the world as a bewildering place. Since they have oversensitive sensory systems, they struggle with processing the massive information from their environment, leading to sensory overload. This sensory overload leads to commonly known behaviors like tantrums, anxiety, and social withdrawal.

      ASD individuals have heightened sensitivity to visual motion in their peripheral field of vision, affecting their perception of the surroundings.

      ASD individuals have an imbalanced gamma-aminobutyric acid as well called (GABA) that causes brain processing disorders like ADHD, dyslexia, central auditory processing disorder and social anxiety disorders, mostly found in autistic people.

      Moreover, due to impaired emotional processing, ASD individuals also have difficulty processing facial identity and facial expressions.

Can autism be cured?

      A neurodevelopmental disorder like autism is incurable and may require a number of treatments and interventions to lessen the symptoms. Almost all evidence-based interventions and treatments for ASD individuals are focused on managing symptoms or supporting the development and learning, then eradicating them entirely. Any therapy that claims to completely cure ASD is a false claim.

Treatment approaches for autism

      There are several home-based and school-based treatments and interventions available for ASD, depending upon the changing needs of your child.

      Some authentic evidence-based treatment approaches include:

Behavior and communication approaches

      These therapies focus on a wide range of disorders like social, language, and behavioral difficulties by teaching them new skills. For instance, applied behavior analysis (ABA) helps children learn and generalize skills in various situations through a reward-based motivation system. PRT, known as pivotal response treatment, consists of several effective strategies that target four major aspects of behaviors in autistic children through a reward-based system. 

Developmental approaches

      These approaches focus on improving target developmental skills, like language and physical skills. For instance, speech and language therapy improves understanding, and the use of speech and language. Occupational therapy teaches skills to live an independent life. 

Educational approaches

      These highly structured educational programs consist of a number of specialists and activities to improve social, communication, and behavior skills. For instance, TEACCH, is based upon the idea that consistency and visual learning helps ASD children thrive.

Social-relational approaches

      These approaches help improve social skills and build emotional bonds. For instance, DIR Floortime therapy encourages families to spend playtime together for improved communication skills and bonding.

Psychological approaches

      This approach helps people with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues learn skills to cope. For instance, cognitive-behavior therapy focuses on learning the link between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It helps ASD individuals to alter their reactions to these feelings.

Stem cell therapy approach

      Stem cell therapy is a treatment approach that regenerates, repairs, and replaces damaged cells with healthy ones. Also, their immune-modulating properties help modify the immune system and increase the effectiveness of other interventions to improve the quality of life.

      In patients with autism, stem cell therapy shows remarkable improvement, including:

  • Decreased aggressive behavior
  • Reduced hyperactivity
  • Improved eye contact
  • Increased attention span 
  • Improved social and communication skills
  • Improved learning ability
  • Improved eating behavior and digestion
  • Seizures are eliminated
  • Sleep pattern improved

      Visit here stem cell therapy center now to discuss the stem cell treatment procedure requirement and how it helps increase the effectiveness of PRT or other interventions. The center also offers a free online consultation with the doctors. 

Conclusion

      Autism is a complex lifelong neurodegenerative disorder that is incurable but treatable. With early diagnosis and developmental approaches, the severity of the symptoms can be alleviated by learning and developing your child’s support skills. Different types of interventions and therapies, including stem cell treatment for autism, might get overwhelming, but they will nevertheless fulfill your child’s need to become an independent and happy person.