What Is Autism?
Autism, also known as an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), can be described as a neurological and developmental lifelong disorder with a vast range of conditions that affect how a person thinks, feels and experiences their environment. ASD-affected people usually have problems with social communication and interaction, and they can manifest restricted and repetitive behaviours.
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You must also know that being autistic doesn’t mean you’re disfavoured or that you can’t lead a normal life. Not at all! Autistic persons have things they’re good at, well, they also struggle with some things, but this is true for everyone. Just as you were born with a birthmark, being autistic is what you were born with. It’s in you!
It should be noted that autism has several subtypes, meaning no two autistic individuals share distinct autistic features. They’re completely different from each other. This spectrum disorder varies among individuals and needs to be diagnosed successfully; some persons barely need support before they can explore their abilities, while others require marked care with their daily lives.
Signs of Autism
Difficulties communicating and understanding others
Social interaction could be very challenging among individuals with ASD. They display little interest in peers and have trouble getting to understand what others are feeling. Autistic children do not feel enthusiastic enough to play games with friends or even show expressions of happiness.
Unusual behaviours and interests
Individuals with ASD have behaviours and interests that are somewhat restricted or repetitive. These behaviours make them seem very unusual and different from others in their peers. Examples are when they easily get upset or anxious about insignificant things.
Other symptoms include:
- Delayed development of language and locomotive skills
- Impaired Cognitive and learning skills
- Unusual pattern of eating and sleeping
- Convulsive or epileptic episodes
- Anxiety-related syndromes
- Hyperactivity or impulsiveness in behaviours
Signs of Autism in Young Children
This could mean a lot of things, which include;
- Children could find it difficult responding to their name
- They avoid eye contact when you’re talking to them
- They easily become fussy and flare up when a particular situation upset them
- They are usually much reserved and withdrawn, unlike other children
- They are slow to learn and find it difficult to read and write.
- Issue with making repetitive utterances
- They don’t get easily cheered and always look distraught.
- Autistic children are hard to understand, and therefore find it difficult to make friends
- They enjoy a quiet and strict routine and can be very obsessed with this
- Cognitive perception could be much lower in autistic children than those without, so care must be taken around them because they take things literally. Tell them “break a leg,” and they’ll take it to hook, line, and sinker.
Signs of Autism to Look Out for in Adults
- Adult autistic fellows find it hard to live with an effusive person. They’d instead enjoy a solitary and calm lifestyle. They don’t like to make friends.
- They seem blunt and use words the way they come to their mind, not necessarily meaning to be rude though.
- Use of sarcastic phrases and complex phrases doesn’t easily make sense to them.
- Eye to eye contact isn’t their thing, and they do everything to avoid this.
- They don’t act with impulse. They make careful decisions.
- They find it difficult to keep up with a conversation.
- They find it difficult to express their feelings and can’t read other people’s moods or feelings.
Symptoms of Meningitis
Meningitis is a disease condition characterized by inflammation of the membranes in your brain and spinal cords. The most precipitating organism is a virus, which is self-limiting, that goes off without treatment. Others can be very life-threatening which require emergency intervention. The brain meninges get swollen, and this condition triggers various signs and symptoms, which include:
Possible signs and symptoms you could develop after getting infected include:
- High fever which rises suddenly
- Stiff neck
- Feeling headache coupled with being nauseous
- Intense headache that quite different from normal
- Inability to concentrate fully without getting confused
- Difficulty in staying awake. The person could be sleepwalking
- Abnormal sensitivity to light
- Anorexia or no thirstiness
- Pruritus and overall skin itching
Other Conditions That Affect Autistic People
Every person affected with autism has his/her own distinguished challenge. Some may require less support and tend to grasp things on their own, while some may require major support with little or no effort from their part. Other conditions that could affect an autistic person are as highlighted below.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD
Autistic persons may also have ADHD, and they present with:
- Easy distraction and difficulty in concentration
- ADHD persons could get a little bit impulsive
- They could also be very restless, that sitting down still becomes an uphill task for them.
These people will require additional attention from loved ones both at school and at home, either with their medication or getting on with life.
Dyslexia and dyspraxia
You could also see these conditions in autistic folks when they present with:
Issues with spelling words correctly or reading and writing difficulties, you say this is dyslexia.
On the other hand, dyspraxia involves having issues with locomotive balance. That is, the person cannot coordinate his movements without getting clumsy. It’s also important here to provide them with extra support.
Thus is having problems with sleep patterns, and symptoms include:
- Not falling into sleep easily
- Difficulty sustaining sleep without waking up frequently during the night
- They sometimes present as early risers.
Adjusting your bedtime routine could solve some of these symptoms and could help you get some sound sleep.
Mental health issues
Autistic persons also have problems with their mental sense, symptoms which include:
- Getting easily worried and concerned about unimportant things, anxiety.
- Unexplained state of unhappiness and hopelessness, depression.
- Serious obsessive behaviours that make it difficult or almost impossible for them to stop doing certain things, obsessive-compulsive disorder.
They can overcome these mental issues when they are treated with talking therapies or even medications.
Learning disabilities can also be seen among individuals with autism. The symptoms are as listed:
- Finding it hard to comprehend new or complex expressions
- Difficulties learning new skills
- They can’t look after themselves properly without needing someone to do that for them. Caregivers need to help these with their daily routines.
- It’s also possible that autistic people suffer from epilepsy. Symptoms include:
- Uncontrollable shaking and falling, known as seizures
- Perceiving unfamiliar smells or tastes
- Tingling sensations in the arms or legs
- Looking aimlessly into the space.
Note that epileptic ones should not be left alone for long but be taken care of by someone in case of seizures. Medicines should also be administered to put the seizures in check.
On a final note, autistic people shouldn’t be looked down on. They’re a rare breed. Show them more love if you have them around you. They are amazing beings! Autism is no longer referred to as a disability; rather, it is a different ability.