Autism is a disorder caused before a child is three years old. It is a brain development disorder and causes repetitive behavior. A person suffering from Autism will have pattern of symptoms rather than one single symptom. There will be difference in the symptoms shown in 2 different individuals with this disorder.
1) Social Development
2) Non responsive towards communication
3) Repetitive Behavior
4) They would indulge in monologue on the topic they like and go on and on
Social impairments do begin from early childhood days and continues to be there in adulthood. It is very striking and prominent in an autistic toddler as they have less eye contact and they do not respond to their own names. Infants tend to show less social stimuli and could lack total empathy. Autistic children are associated to throwing tantrums, getting aggressive and destruction of property. On the contrary they do not like loneliness and tend to make good friends. For them it is quality that matters, not quantity. They do get attached to the people who take care of them. Three to five year old autistic children are less responsive. They tend to communicate non – verbally and expect others to understand them. Studies show that 66% of parents interviewed said they had periods of tantrums and about 33% had a history of aggression.
Communication is another issue in autism as they do not develop enough natural speech. Some children with this disorder do not say a word until they are almost 2 years old. It is associated with babbling, de-synchronization of vocal patterns, diminished responsiveness and unusual gestures even to the ones near and dear to them. Autistic children find it difficult to share experiences and are more likely to repeat words. This behavior is termed as echolalia where they sound like echo.
Major characteristic of an autistic individual is they display repetitive behavior. Common amongst them is Stereotype which involves purposeless movement like rocking the body, head rolling and hand flapping. They tend to arrange objects in a particular way which is termed as compulsive behavior and could get very irritated if their patterns are altered. Autistic children have sameness characteristic too, for example refusing to be interrupted or objection on moving objects from one place to another. Similar to sameness there is a characteristic termed as ritualistic behavior which involves performing of daily activities. This also includes eating similar food to wearing similar clothes. There are a lot of characteristics in them which will become a daily routine. An Autistic child can self injure as well like biting oneself. They also tend to restrict themselves to a single program in the television or getting preoccupied by one toy. They have a short concentration span.
Autistic Syndrome Disease is also associated with motor problems which mean poor muscle tone, poor motor planning and toe walking. Their movements look awkward and they do not look like they could trip over anytime. The most common problem is deviation from food but two-thirds of the kids develop a typical eating behavior. Some children with autism have gastrointestinal symptoms. Autistic children have sleeping problems as they find it difficult to sleep. They very often face the problem of night awakening or early morning awakening. Parents have a tough time with an autistic child and even the siblings have a poorer relationship with them.