Autism Diagnosis and Treatment in the UK.
Autism is the name given to complex neurobehavioral conditions that affect a person’s social interaction, communication and behavior. Due to the range of symptoms exhibited as a result of Autism, it was recently renamed, Autism Spectrum Disorder. It covers a wide range of symptoms, skills, and level of impairment.
ASD ranges in severity. It can come in form of a devastating disability that requires institutional care to limiting the normal life of the patient. Children with ASD have trouble communicating and understanding what other people think and feel. This makes it hard for them to express themselves. A child with ASD can be greatly troubled by sound, touch, smell, or sight that seems to be out of the ordinary.
Statistics show that the reported cases of ASD in the UK and the world at large seem to be on the rise. According to the National Health Service, it is estimated that Autism has affected up to 1% of the total UK population. However, it is not clear whether these results are due to the changes in how ASD is diagnosed or truly due to the increase of ASD incidences. According to leading Consultant pediatrician Dr Chelvi Kukendrarajah, ASD is greatly characterized by social interaction and communication difficulties and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors.
Developing infants are social by nature. Children who develop ASD have difficulty with engaging in human interaction. The signs of ASD should become evident once the child is between the ages of 8-10 months. The most common symptoms at this age are the failure to respond to their names, delayed babbling and reduced interest in people. Children with autism are said to be unusually attached to their parents. The social world can seem bewildering to a child with Autism since they lack the ability to interpret gestures and facial expressions.
By age three, children are supposed to have passed predictable milestones on the path to learning language. Children with Autism tend to be delayed in babbling and don’t begin to speak until much later or may have babbled for the first few months of life before they lost their communicative skills completely. When language starts to develop, the person with ASD may use language in very unusual ways. Another difficult task someone with Autism may experience is the inability to interpret body language, tone of voice and expressions such as sarcasm.
A child with Autism can live their live characterized by unusual repetitive behaviors and the tendency to engage in restricted abilities. Such behaviors include flapping their hands, rocking, jumping and twirling among others. Other common behaviors are such as when a child lines up their toys in a specific way instead of playing with them. Repetitive behavior can take the form of obsessions.
Once a parent has witnessed these symptoms from their children, it is important for them to schedule a private Autism assessment appoint to consult with a trained professional. A consultation pediatrician will assess the child the child to get a diagnosis. Organizations such as Child Autism UK can provide an Autism consultant to help with the transition before and after diagnosis.
Although no cure exists for Autism, there are treatments and courses that have been developed to promote the behavioral development of the child. Early intervention can equip the child with mainstream education to teach the child life skills and coping mechanism to handle adult life.