Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) the result of a Neurological Condition, also referred to as pervasive developmental disorder is characterized by deficits in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, engagement in repetitive behaviours or interests, rigidity in thought and behaviour.
Autism & Learning
Early intervention in ASD helps to minimize delays and improves a child’s potential in reaching normal developmental milestones. Researcher also shows that individualized, structured teaching fostered the children’s progress and helped in improving his/her communication skills, daily living abilities, motor coordination, social skills, and adaptive behaviours.
Educational mechanisms for the Autistic children use methodologies like TEACCH (Treatment and education of autistic and related communication handicapped children), ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis), Sensory Integration Therapy etc. These methods emphasize on working in collaboration with parents and families, to create programme design around individual strengths, skills, interests and needs of the child; enabling the individual to be as independent as possible.
ICT based solutions can ideally aid in implementing these established methods of teaching and help as supporting aids in achieving the desirable personalized teaching strategies for the Autistic.
How is Autism Diagnosed?
Classic forms of autism can usually be diagnosed before the age of three, while milder or atypical cases may take much longer to be identified. Autism is clinically defined by a set of characteristics that manifest in different ways and are expressed to varying degrees of severity, thereby more commonly referred to as the ‘autism spectrum’. The ‘spectrum’ of diagnoses currently includes autistic disorder (also referred to as ‘classic’ autism), Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Forthcoming changes to the widely-used diagnostic system, the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), will replace these subtypes with a single diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, differentiating between individuals according to the severity of their symptoms.
Is your child 'at risk' for Autism?
Autism is a neuro developmental disability that impairs social and communication development, pretend and imagination. It is not mental illness. Nor caused by trauma. The symptoms can be greatly reduced by early detection and intervention. Autism occurs 4 times more in boys than girls, 1/150 children will be diagnosed as having autism. Autism is not a disease, it is a condition.
At 18 months..
Does language development seem slow?
Has lost words once mastered?
Did you or others suspect hearing loss?
Has an unusually long attention span?
Seems to be in her/ his own world?
Walks or spins on toes?
Flaps hands when excited?
Unable to follow simple command like 'come here'
Ignores you when name is called?
Plays by self rather than with children of same age?
Leads you by hand rather than use finger pointing to request some object?
Unable to bring an object to show you?
Avoids eye contact or have difficulty sustaining eye gaze?
If the answer is yes to most of the questions, your child may be 'at risk' for autism.
Autism refers to a group of developmental problems known as autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It appears in early childhood usually before the age of 3. Generally, autistic children face problems with social interaction, language and behaviour; the symptoms and severity vary. In severe cases, there is a complete inability to communicate or interact with others. Most children with autism are slow in acquiring new knowledge or skills while others have normal to high intelligence; they learn quickly. Yet they have trouble communicating and adjusting in social situations. Some autistic children have exceptional skills in areas such as art, mathematics or music.
Lack of timely development of language, regression in communication etc., are signs that help your doctor to evaluate autism. Certain developmental tests including speech, language and psychological issues also help confirm autism.