AUTISM IN PAKISTAN (ASD)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neuro developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness and knowledge about autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Pakistan.
However, statistics from South Asia estimate that there may be 350,000 children with autism in Pakistan 12.
SIGNS OF AUTISM (ASD)
These signs typically appear in early childhood, generally between 12 to 24 months 1. However, it’s important to note that not all children with autism will display these signs, and some children without autism may display some of these behaviors 1.
Signs of autism in children can vary, but some common signs include:
- Not responding to their name
- Avoiding eye contact
- Not smiling when you smile at them
- Getting very upset if they do not like a certain taste, smell or sound
- Repetitive movements, such as flapping their hands, flicking their fingers or rocking their body
- Not talking as much as other children
- Not doing as much pretend play
- Repeating the same phrases
CAUSES FOR AUTISM
The exact cause of autism is not known, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Several different genes appear to be involved in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some environmental factors that may play a role in the development of ASD include maternal infection, diabetes, high blood pressure, and older paternal age at conception. However, it’s important to note that not all children with these risk factors will develop ASD, and not all children with ASD have these risk factors.
Many scientists believe that interfamily marriages are causing an unusually high number of genetic mutations to spread in Pakistan, leading to disabilities in children of consanguineous marriages.
CURE FOR AUTISM
There is no single treatment for ASD that works for everyone. The best course of action is to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide guidance on the most appropriate treatmen options for an individual with ASD.
Caring for children with autism requires the services of multiple healthcare professionals which include Occupational, Play, Behavior & speech therapy as well as sensory integration.
Some children can outgrow a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), once considered a lifelong condition. In a new study, researchers found that nearly 10 percent of children with ASD who received early intervention achieved what the researchers call “optimal outcomes,” meaning they no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for ASD and have IQ scores in the normal range.
HOME REMEDIES FOR PARENTS TO DEAL WITH AUTISTIC CHILDREN
There are many ways you can help your child with autism at home. Here are some tips:
- Provide structure and routine: Children with autism often thrive on routine and predictability. Establishing a consistent schedule can help your child feel more secure and reduce anxiety.
- Find non verbal ways to connect: Children with autism may have difficulty with verbal communication, but there are other ways to connect with them. Try using nonverbal cues such as gestures, facial expressions, and touch.
- Create a personalized treatment plan: Every child with autism is unique, so it’s important to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses their specific needs. Consult with a healthcare professional who can provide guidance on the most appropriate treatment options for your child.
- Find help and support: Caring for a child with autism can be challenging, so it’s important to find help and support when you need it. Consider joining a support group or seeking out respite care services.
- Play therapy: Play therapy is a great way to help children with autism develop social skills and learn new behaviors. Encourage your child to engage in imaginative play, such as playing with dolls or action figures.
- Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy can help children with autism develop fine motor skills, sensory integration, and other skills that are important for daily living.
- Speech therapy: Speech therapy can help children with autism improve their communication skills, including verbal and nonverbal communication.
- Behavioral therapy: Behavioral therapy can help children with autism learn new behaviors and reduce problem behaviors.