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Autism refers to the impairment if the reciprocal social interaction and communication, besides that behavioral and cognitive development is also effected. The autism cannot be diagnosed before 18 months; generally it is diagnosed by observing the abnormal behavioral symptoms (Zander E., 2004).
Most of the children with autism also have a learning incapacityor mental retardation, though a few have average brain. Some children have epilepsy, visual and hearing disability are prominent in this group. People with Asperger’s syndromes which is a disorder resembling autism, such people possessaverage intelligence.
Autism can be easily be confirmed by behavioral diagnosis. It is caused due to several known and unknown brain dysfunctions which affect the development of the brain and the ability to understand the information. It is referred as neuro-developmental disorder. The genetic disturbance which causes a different way of processing information, which includes perception, process and interpreting information, which makes the person unable to learn new things easily, to behave normally. It causes behavioral deviations.
The most prominent characteristic of autism is often the problems with mutual, social interaction. Sometimes in a very early age, children may have complications using and understanding eye interaction, facial languages, gestures, modulation, etc.though in contact with other person. Most of the children with autism do not show any social or emotional reciprocity and do not impulsively. Children with autism often remain engaged in a limited range of behaviors, benefits and actions in a repetitive and stereotypic way. Some other symptoms can also be observed like over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity for certain echoes, touches and odorsetc.; hyperactivity; sleeping and eating disorders etc. These are not required for diagnosis but still are very helpful in deciding that the child has some problem (Autism case studies).
The assessment refers to the collection of information which helps in diagnosis and to prepare the management plans. Assessment and diagnosis comprises the evaluation of functioning in relevant domains. It helps in diagnosis and helps in suggesting appropriate intervention plan. It also helps in assessment of the specific language impairment in children. Autism can easily be diagnosed through behavioral assessment.
It includes the interviews with the parents of the children and the history of behavioral impairment. Besides this contextual and functional information are also collected through the workers of the society like schools etc. also helps in the assessment.
Autism is a life-long disability which cannot be cure through any kind of intervention plan but the doctors try to manage the disorder by providing them assistance. The children can be made to develop normally with required educational aids. Several Applied behavior analysis strategies and well-structured teaching methods (Anonymous, 2007).
The non-pharmacological interventions include parent mediated intervention, communication intervention, behavioral and psychological intervention. For the children the speech and language therapist help to communicate with family and friends.
Pharmacological interventions include resperidone which helps in reducing the irritability and aggression in the children due to the tantrums and negative behavior of the society towards them. Methylphenidate is prescribed in order to reduce the hyperactivity in the adolescents.
I met ten years child Paul who was referred to the university speech and hearing center by the principal of the school. He was suffering from autism spectrum disorder. He was advised to attend preschool at the university.
The birth and development history was absolutely normal. He was delivered normally without any kind of complication. Parents reported that the baby was absolutely healthy and didn’t show any problem in walking, sitting and standing and respond to sound and interactions normally. He was not able to communicate normally. Though he started vocalization at 3 months of age but was not able to talk by reaching the age of 3 years.
The experts tried to communicate with the child and found that he was not able to communicate normally and used nonverbal means to communicate. With the help of the partner he tried to interact through an approximation of the more sign when taking the hand along with a verbal construction.
When he was provided with the toys, he played with them normally and eye gaze was appropriate but during the communication he never looked at the person. He was found responding non-engaged and inconsistently.
The Communication Symbolic and Behavior Scales Developmental Profile is very efficient in determining communicative competence. This type of assessment was appropriate for the children of age six to twenty four months. That is why this tool was appropriate for the child and it provided salient information regarding social interaction development.
The experts and parents developed communication objectives that comprised spontaneously using a reliable communication model for a range of communicative purposes and starting and responding to attempts for joint attention. The child could not meet his requirements through verbal communication was measured. He was trained to use some signs but did not use them communicatively. And it was important to improve the motor imitation skills. His communication companions would requirelearning not only standard signs, but child’scharacteristic signs.
The outcomes were really surprising; the child was comfortable in sharing his happiness, grief and excitement with others. The social interaction was improved.
The experience of watching Rick was really good. It provided so much information about autism. Earlier when I met him, he was not able to communicate and use to look downwards always. It was very difficult understand him in the absence of partner. The experts interviewed his parents and the child to assess the level of autism. Autism also has certain categories, like autism disorder refers to the learning disability; even the child with average intelligence can have autism. Asperger’s syndrome which refers to the autism without any linguistic difficulties. Pervasive development disorder refers to a typical disorder which does not fulfill the criteria of autism but still has some difficulties which resemble with the patient suffering from autism. I have presented my experience by describing it in a form of case study to share what I observed in the children during his treatment by the experts of the university.
Autism case studies, retrieved from https://www.stronginstitute.com/resources/case-studies/autism-case-studies.html
Zander, E., (2004).An introduction to autism, retrieved from http://www.autismforum.se/gn/export/download/af_oversattningar/Introduktion_om_autism_engelska.pdf
Anonymous (2007).Assessment, diagnosis and clinical interventions for children and young people with autism spectrum disorders: A national clinical guideline