Autism Spectrum Disorder, commonly known simply as autism, is a disorder that primarily impacts a patient’s social health. Many variations of Autism Spectrum Disorders exist, each carrying its own symptoms and signs, but all ASDs have three common characteristics. All ASD patients have difficulties with social interactions, difficulties with verbal and/or non-verbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. These defining difficulties range drastically, in some cases leading to a disabling inability to function fully while other patients may simply be prone to discomfort in certain situations. Regardless of the severity of symptoms, early diagnosis and therapy may help an ASD child increase their chances of living a normal life.
The diagnosis of ASD is often a long and tricky process. Many experts suggest that a parent enroll their child in ASD therapies as soon as there is concern about development. Studies have proven that the earlier therapy begins, the better the child’s chances of developing more on par with their peers. Waiting for the completion of the long diagnosis proceedings before beginning therapy could delay a child’s development. However, no single treatment has been found to be absolutely effective for every form of ASD. It is important to work with your child’s medical team to form an individualized treatment plan, focusing on the child’s unique strengths and challenges. These treatment plans will focus on improving the child’s verbal and nonverbal communication, enhancing social skills, developing motor skills, controlling emotional outbursts, promoting positive behaviors, and involving parents, older siblings, and other family members.
Medications exist to help manage some of the more disruptive behaviors. There are much talked about home remedies, involving dietary restrictions or the use of vitamins and minerals. Evidence suggests that therapy may be significantly more beneficial for the management of Autism Spectrum Disorders than any medication. Medications are often accompanied by a host of side effects and, while they may deter him/her from engaging in repetitive behaviors, medications are not capable of helping a child improve social or communication skills.