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Causes and Treatment of Autism in Children

Autism spectrum disorder is broadly complicated, and with time and research, it becomes a more significant brain condition. These conditions can be characterized by asocial behavior and problematic communication. There have recently been issues regarding a growing number of children with diagnosed ASD, and this work aims to clarify symptoms, causes, and treatment of this condition. The analyzed reports shed light on the factors mentioned above and the pervasiveness of the disorder.

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In their work, Hyman et al. (2020) indicated that ASD can be diagnosed in children of varying ages due to the variability of symptoms and severity. The most vital part is the recognition of autism in a child, not the first sign of it. While ASD indicators are neurological in nature, they appear as behavioral traits that vary according to age, language abilities, and cognitive abilities. The primary symptoms are divided into two categories: social interaction and limited, repetitive behavior patterns.

Hyman et al. (2020) proceed with their report to state that among the most common characteristics are poor interpreting of other people’s intents, reduced eye contact, unusual use and interpretation of gestures, and imaginative play. This study concludes with the recommendation of the AAP, stating that screening at early ages in order to identify aberrations is crucial since ASD can be treated with early interventions. To diagnose ASD, various standardized autism-specific screening tests are performed during primary care visits, even at 18 and 24 months old (Hyman et al., 2020).

Aside from understanding the symptoms of ASD, it is vital to delve deeper and comprehend where this disorder stems from. For this purpose, Hodges, Fealko, & Soares (2020) dedicated their report to the causes of this disorder. According to the researchers, ASD is a neurobiological disease caused by hereditary and environmental factors that alter the child’s brain. The ongoing study expands overall awareness of probable pathophysiological processes in ASD, although no single cohesive etiology has been identified. ASD susceptibility is influenced by genetic variables, with siblings of individuals with ASD having a greater probability of diagnosis.

Moreover, while genetics undoubtedly play a role in the pathophysiology of Autism, the behavioral manifestation of genetic predisposition within ASD is exceedingly varied. In some cases, “prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal environmental factors” may influence genetic susceptibility (Hodges, Fealko, & Soares, 2020, p.59). Prenatal exposure to thalidomide and valproic acid has been linked to increased risk. In contrast, studies show that prenatal folic acid supplementation in people using antiepileptic medicines may lower the risk.

The research of Monz et al. (2019) focuses on the variety of treatments for ASD in children. In the case of ASD, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry advises using different therapy approaches. Additionally, it was mentioned that 16% of the entire child population is susceptible to this disorder, which makes the research on ASD treatments especially crucial (Monz et al., 2019). Monz et al. (2019) state that nonpharmacological therapies, such as behavioral therapy, speech and language therapy (SLT), and occupational therapy, are used throughout pediatric age groups and delivered in a variety of contexts such as home, school, specialized clinics, or offices.

According to the research of Monz et al. (2019), more over half of those surveyed claimed their child benefitted greatly from the therapy they underwent. The study found that the total non-drug treatment rates for children with ASD in the United States were high. However, it was mentioned that there were disparities based on where the family lived, not just in terms of the kind of treatment but also where it was delivered.

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Hence, ASD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, and 16% of the entire child population is susceptible to this condition. There are various symptoms of ASD, and the most common are asocial behavior, unusual interpretation of people’s intents and gestures, and avoidance of eye contact. While there can be both environmental and genetic causes of the disorder, genes play a more significant role in susceptibility. According to the studies, there are many non-drug treatments, mainly including therapies.

References

Hodges, H., Fealko, C., & Soares, N. (2020). Autism spectrum disorder: definition, epidemiology, causes, and clinical evaluation. Translational Pediatrics, 9(1), 55-65.

Hyman, S. L., Levy, S. E., Myers, S. M., Kuo, D. Z., Apkon, S., Davidson, L. F.,… & Bridgemohan, C. (2020). Identification, evaluation, and management of children with autism spectrum disorder. Pediatrics, 145(1).

Monz, B. U., Houghton, R., Law, K., & Loss, G. (2019). Treatment patterns in children with autism in the United States. Autism Research, 12(3), 517-526.

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