Defining Autism 2

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.

Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD, is the most severe form of Autism Spectrum Disorder- while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Aspergers syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.

Although the disorders vary significantly in character and severity, they occur in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affect every age group. Research now estimates that 1 out of 48 children will have an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Signs to look out for if you suspect your child may have autism.

The crucial feature of Autism Spectrum Disorder is impaired social interaction. As early as infancy, a baby with autism spectrum disorder may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time. A child with on the spectrum may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.

Children with a spectrum disorder may fail to respond to their names and often avoid eye contact with other people. They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior. They may lack empathy.

Repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling, or self-abusive behavior such as biting or head-banging are aspects that many children with autism spectrum disorders demonstrate. These children tend to start speaking later than other children and may refer to themselves by name instead of “I” or “me.” Children on the spectrum don’t demonstrate interactively play with other children and some tend to speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range of favorite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person to whom they are speaking.

Co-occurring conditions, including Fragile X syndrome which is known to cause intellectual disability, tuberous sclerosis, epileptic seizures, tourette syndrome, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder.

We now know that almost 30 percent of children with autism spectrum disorders develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood.

When should a parent panic!

Autism Spectrum Disorder varies widely in severity and symptoms and may go unrecognized, especially in mildly affected children or when it is masked by more debilitating handicaps.

If you notice any of these early indicators then as a parent or a teacher or a well-wisher you may want to seek an appointment with the Dyslexia Association of India™ on a priority basis.

Lack of or No

Babbling or pointing by age 1
Lack of the use of words by 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
If your child does not respond to his/her name
Loss of language or social skills
Poor eye contact
Excessive lining up of toys or objects
No smiling or social responsiveness

In school;

Impaired ability to make friends with peers
Impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
Absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
Stereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of language
Restricted patterns of interest that are abnormal in intensity or focus
Preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
Inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals

Where did it come from?

Research is not very certain about what causes Autism Spectrum Disorder, but it’s likely that both genetics and environment play a role. Researchers have identified a number of genes associated with the disorder. Research of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders has found irregularities in several regions of the brain with some suggest that abnormal level of serotonin and/or other neurotransmitters in the brain cause autism to develop. The strongest evidence is a suggestion that Autism Spectrum Disorder could result from the disruption of normal brain development early in fetal development caused by defects in genes that control brain growth and that regulate how brain cells communicate with each other, possibly due to the influence of environmental factors on gene function. While intriguing these are preliminary and require validation.

Inheritance and its responsibility

Studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism. Identical twin studies show that if one twin is affected, there is up to a 90 percent chance the other twin will be affected. In families with one child on the spectrum the risk of having a second child with the disorder is approximately 1 in 20 and this is higher than the risk for the general population.

Symptoms can be made to improve with treatment and with age. Children whose language skills regress early in life—before the age of 3—appear to have a higher than normal risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. During adolescence, some children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder may become depressed or experience behavioral problems, and their treatment may need some modification as they transition to adulthood

Can Autism be treated!

There is no cure for Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Dyslexia Association of India™ prepares individualized therapies and behavioral interventions to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement. Our treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of individual children. In fact the earlier you accept what you see in your child and bring him or her to us the intervention programme can demonstrate better results.

The Dyslexia Association of India™ uses extremely structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills along with family counseling for the parents and siblings of the children diagnosed as being on the spectrum.

There are a number of controversial therapies or interventions that parents have been known to differ to in their attempt to help and their children, but these interventions and controversial therapies are not supported by scientific studies and eventually are a waste of time and resources.

We normally advise the caregivers or the parents to use caution before adopting any unproven treatments, which are delivered by so-called specialists and homegrown therapy centers, which offer the promise of immediate results.

The Dyslexia Association of India™ users it’s patented and copyright T.R.A.I.N™ Neuroplasticity program to help children with autism overcome their behavioural as well as sensory difficulties and improve their cognitive abilities over a period of time using a combination of neuro plasticity along with applied behavioural analysis so that these children can lead balanced and fruitful lives, and be productive members of the community whereby they can stand on their own feet and have in place a self advocacy plan for the future.

For further information please contact the Dyslexia Association of India™ on our mobile number 88260 22886 or e-mail us at

(Views and observations expressed in our articles are equivocal and personal based on our observations and experience. Being equivocal and personal they are non contestable and Individuals are under no pressure to confirm to our views, thoughts and observations. The accuracy ratio for screening and remedial processes of the DAI™ is extremely high.)