Autism – how to recognize it?
Profesional literature written about autism states that Autism spectrum disorder is an inherited disorder
of some brain functions that causes the child to experience, think and behave differently than his peers. According to statistics, about every 70th child born will develop
symptoms characteristic to Autism spectrum disorder (ASD, autism).
Children with autism show different intellectual / mental development problems especially in the area of communication, environmental interaction, imagination, emotions, empathy and understanding of normal daily routines. Some children have problems speaking , cannot imagine what other people think, have tantrums due to their brain being overloaded with stimuli that they cannot filter. Children with autism are not bad or rude, they just have trouble understanding what is happening around them thus finding it difficult to communicate with others.Faced with all these obstacles, the world around them can become chaotic and confusing. Conversely, in other areas they excel, for example. they have good mechanical memory, can paint and are exceptionally capable in the field of IT.
Caring for a person with ASD from infancy is extremely difficult and exhausting. Impaired mental development of the child strongly influences the functioning of the whole family. It requires sensitive and appropriate approach in both the family and school environment and early professional intervention.
As there isn´t even one model person with a diagnosis of autism, there is no universal method that can help a child with autism. The proven approaches always need to be ´person centred´ ie. – adapted to the needs of the individual child and his family.
Each child with autism is different, not all autistic people manifest the same symptoms
- minimal responces to instructions, less cooperation
- minimal or no communication with others
- minimal eye contact
- little use or lack of social smile
- nonparticipation in activies or in children’s games, for example. Paci,paci
- may have frequent tantrums
- it is difficult to obtain or keep child´s attention, and to interact with him ( share experiences, emotions, play)
- is preoccupied with his own interests, fascination with various objects and details
- plays differently with toys
- plays less
- often plays alone
- repetitiveness – is interested in certain things repeatedly (spins, opens, closes, puts items in rows)
- specific movements (shaking hands, jumping, walking on tiptoe)
- lack of interaction with people (ignores them) or inappropriate interaction
- cannot be included among the other children
- fixated on certain toys or objects
- the impression that they can´t hear and live in their own world (eg unresponsive to their name)
- over-reacts to certain sounds, smells, tastes (refuses to eat, go to the store ..)
- uneven mental development
- missing lively facial expressions and gestures
- finds it difficult to adapt to changes and responds to them inappropriately or anxiously
Early diagnosis and early professional intervention may support you and your child to get a better start in life and mitigate the effects of disturbances on child development and functioning of the entire family.
We can never say with absolute certainty which way is the right way to help, but always with the best of our knowledge, we offer parents and their children with autism various options and seek common practices that families are willing to accept. Our efforts are always directed at people with autism so that their families can become more contented in life.