Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Autism...What parents need to know.

Parents who think their children have autism or need to understand this problem need to know a few basic facts.
Autism is genetic ,also environmental causes have been implicated. other than the recent vaccine issue the causes are not very important from management or treatment perspective.
The difficulties Pakistani parents face are manifold;
They do not recognise the autism symptoms earlier as there is no awareness about these disorders even in doctors. If the child presents with different presentations and loss of verbal skills ,they may think it as shyness, indiscipline etc. Due to the social and religious dogmatic milue of our society there is no effort on the part of even medical personnel to make people aware of this problem and provide help and care including educating the parents or family.
As in USA , Pakistan also now faces a large burden of disease with children with autism and related disorders.People need to understand these disorders.
Autism and autism like disorders consist of a spectrum in which are included Rett's, Asperger's syndromes, non-specific autism like disorders, etc.the difficulty faced by parents is that in case not earlier detected, th child may not be put in school,or may become aschool dropout due to failure to integrate.
If symptoms such as difficulty in social interactions such as eye contact, conversation,abnormal verbal exchange,inappropriate emotional response, repetetive actions and interest in games etc are causing concern , the parents need to seek help !
The good news is that if the child is given interventional treatment such as cognitive, behavioural and special educational treatment he may recover. Now according to a new study children with higher IQ's may eventually become fully functional. The best part about this study is that it gives hope to parents of children with these disorders.
In Pakistan there is a dire need for people to be made aware of these disorders and be given help and treatment facilities.

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