Autism is a word most of us are familiar with. But do we really know what is means? Autism is a developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and –a-half years of life. Children with autism have trouble with social and communication skills. It is one of the most severe form of pervasive development disorder (PPD) which broadly means problems with language, difficulty in relating to other people including parents.
Autism is found in every country and region of the world, in families of all racial, ethic, religion and economic background. Isolated in world of their own, people with autism appear indifferent and remote and are unable to form emotional bond with others.
Working with autistic children is very challenging and I was lucky enough to be with them. Initially my first day with Autistic children was totally a chaos. I was nervous to work with children who break glasses, smear faces, bites and kicks. But as days passed by I found myself enjoying with my students. The first thing to understand autistic children is their behaviour pattern of each of them. And the ultimate satisfaction that one gets from seeing the progress made by the student is very gratifying.
Autism has no cure but early and aggressive intervention may help parents and children learn their quality of life. Symptoms may vary from moderate to severe and each child’s behaviour is different. Most children with autism seem to have tremendous difficulty learning to engage in the give-take of everyday human interaction. Parents of a child with autism may complain that their child does not react to cuddling and does not smile as a normal child of that age group.
There is also a lack of attachment behaviour which becomes evident when the child does not seek comfort or help when he or she is hurt or distress. Such child prefers to stay alone and does not mix with other children of the same age. Sometimes people with autism also tend to be physically aggressive at times, unusual facial or body movements, hand flapping, head banging and too much or too little sensitive to pain, sound, heat and cold may seen in them. There are several disorder commonly accompany autism, these may be caused by common underlying problem in brain functioning. Some of them are mental retardation which is the most widespread. Children with autism develop seizures, starting either in early or in adolescence age.
Though autism is a lifelong condition, an accurate and early diagnosis by expert and an early behavioural and educational intervention helps the child to make progress and lead a satisfying life. Each children needs an individual programmed tailored to his/her own specific needs and the family’s involvement in this helps in enhancing the child’s skills. Art, music, pet and water therapy helps reduce problem behaviour and it increases play skills. Research shows that about half of Children diagnosed with Autism remains mute throughout their lives. And those do speak often use language in unusual way.But some people and children display remarkable abilities in the field of art, music and other vocational activities.Some can play musical instrument and can play a song accurate after hearing it once, like the person played by Dustin Hoffman in the movie Rain Man.
With the numbers of Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnoses growing each year it’s important for people everywhere to know about this cause. Many cities in India have active support organisation which been formed by parents of children with Autism. These groups help to provide parents with support information and knowledge about in the management of autism. A positive attitude towards the child on the part of parents, relatives, friends and teachers goes a long way in developing the autistic child’s potential.
These famous landmarks went blue for World Autism Awareness Day in 2014.
“LIGHT IT UP BLUE” to help shine on light on Autism. April is world Autism month and April 2nd has been proclaimed as WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY (WAAD). World Autism day was launched on 2nd April 2008 by the United Nations General Assembly on the recommendation of Qatar. Autism is a global concern, a growing health crisis. So let us all join hands and support develop world knowledge of autistic epidemic and to celebrate the unique talents and skills of people with Autism.