Autism Spectrum Disorder


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders. ASD includes a wide range, “a spectrum,” of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability.

People with ASD often have these characteristics:

·        On going social problems that include difficulty communicating and interacting with others

·        Repetitive behaviors as well as limited interests or activities

·        Symptoms that typically are recognized in the first two years of life

·        Symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life

Some people are mildly impaired by their symptoms,while others are severely disabled. Treatments and services can improve a person’s symptoms and ability to function. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  around 1 in 68 children has been identified with some form of ASD.

Signs and Symptoms

Parents or doctors may first identify ASD behaviors in infants and toddlers. School staff may recognize these behaviors in older children. Not all people with ASD will show all of these behaviors, but most will show several. There are two main types of behaviors: “restricted /repetitive behaviors” and “social communication / interaction behaviors.”

Restrictive / repetitive behaviors may include:

·        Repeating certain behaviors or having unusual behaviors

·        Having overly focused interests, such as with moving objects or parts of objects

·        Having a lasting, intense interest in certain topics, such as numbers, details, or facts.

Social communication / interaction behaviors may include:

·        Getting upset by a slight change in a routine or being placed in a new or overly stimulating setting

·        Making little or inconsistent eye contact

·        Having a tendency to look at and listen to other people less often

·        Rarely sharing enjoyment of objects or activities by pointing or showing things to others

·        Responding in an unusual way when others show anger, distress, or affection

·        Failing to, or being slow to, respond to someone calling their name or other verbal attempts to gain attention

·        Having difficulties with the back and forth of conversations

·        Often talking at length about a favorite subject without noticing that others are not interested or without giving others a chance to respond

·        Repeating words or phrases that they hear, a behavior called echolalia

·        Using words that seem odd, out of place, or have a special meaning known only to those familiar with that person’s way of communicating

·        Having facial expressions, movements, and gestures that do not match what is being said

·        Having an unusual tone of voice that may sound sing-song or flat and robot-like

·        Having trouble understanding another person’s point of view or being unable to predict or understand other people’s actions.

People with ASD may have other difficulties, such as being very sensitive to light, noise, clothing, or temperature. They may also experience sleep problems, digestion problems, and irritability.

ASD is unique in that it is common for people with ASD to have many strengths and abilities in addition to challenges.

Strengths and abilities may include:

·        Having above-average intelligence – the CDC reports  46% of ASD children have above average intelligence

·        Being able to learn things in detail and remember information for long periods of time

·        Being strong visual and auditory learners

Diagnosing ASD

Doctors diagnose ASD by looking at a child’s behavior and development. Young children with ASD can usually be reliably diagnosed by age two.

Older children and adolescents should be evaluated for ASD when a parent or teacher raises concerns based on watching the child socialize, communicate, and play.

Diagnosing ASD in adults is not easy. In adults,some ASD symptoms can overlap with symptoms of other mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).However, getting a correct diagnosis of ASD as an adult can help a person understand past difficulties, identify his or her strengths, and obtain the right kind of help.

Risk Factors

Scientists don’t know the exact causes of ASD, but research suggests that genes and environment play important roles.

Risk factors include:

·        Gender—boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls

·        Vaccination

·        Having a sibling with ASD

·        Having older parents  (a mother who was 35 or older, and/or a father who was 40 or older when the baby was born)

·        Genetics—about 20% of children with ASD also have certain genetic conditions. Those conditions include Down syndrome,fragile X syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis among others.

In recent years, the number of children identified with ASD has increased. Experts disagree about whether this shows a true increase in ASD since the guidelines for diagnosis have changed in recent years as well. Also, many more parents and doctors now know about the disorder, so parents are more likely to have their children screened, and more doctors are able to properly diagnose ASD, even in adulthood.

Here are some tips.

·        Keep a detailed notebook. Record conversations and meetings with health care providers and teachers. This information helps when its time to make decisions.

·        Record doctors' reports and evaluations in the notebook. This information may help an individual qualify for special programs.

·        Contact the local health department, school, or autism advocacy groups to learn about their special programs.

·        Talk with a pediatrician, school official, or physician to find a local autism expert who can help develop an intervention plan and find other local resources.

·        Find an autism support group. Sharing information and experiences can help individuals with ASD and/or their care givers learn about options, make decisions, and reduce stress

Role of Homoeopathy in Autism

Homeopathy as a scientific system of therapeutics is based on identifying the individual as an entity and selecting the simillimum according to his characteristics. In homeopathy each individualization considered as a distinct entity with certain characteristics of his own and based on these characteristics we choose an identical medicinal picture.Sometimes, we come through remedies which seem to have similar profile but on closer observation we recognize the subtle difference which gives both a distinct identity. Thus we see that Individualization is one of the basic tenets of Homeopathy.

Homeopathy believes that each individual of any race, nationality or background has some characteristic features which differentiate him from all other of his own kind. Even two twins with same environmental and genetic background have some features which differentiates them. You must have seen that in a same family too every individual responds differently to same situation, a drench in rain may cause backache in one, fever in other and headache in the third. Why is it so? It is because each of us has a different Constitution, an all together different individuality. Every person reacts to any external agent according to his/her individuality.

There are some medicine in Homoeopathy for autism:-

·        Agraphis nutan

·        Kali bromatum

·        Lycopodium

·        Staphisagria

·        Thuja

·        Tuberculinum

·        Olibanum sacrum, etc.

But which one is suitable for particular patient it is decide after proper case taking and individualization of the patient.