Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
This is a Neurodevelopmental Disorder that is used to describe three conditions that were previously separated and are now viewed as a spectrum: Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
Children with ASD can have emotional difficulties and social development problems leading to limitations in communication, developing social skills, having good family relationships, and having unusual interests.
Although no exact cause of ASD is identified, causes are believed to be genetic and environmental such as DNA illnesses and viral infections. It is important to note that there is no scientifically proven link between ASD and vaccination.
Symptoms can include problems in social communication and behavioral patterns. Social communication problems can include failure to respond to name, resist signs of affection, lack of expressing emotion, poor eye contact, delayed and/or poor speech such as monotone or speech with an abnormal tone. Behavioral patterns can include performing repetitive movements, trouble changing routines, being restless or fidgety, problems with coordination, odd food and dressing choices, and sensitivity to light, touch, or sound.
Early identification is needed as there is a variety of non-pharmacological interventions that can change the course of the condition throughout life. These interventions will help to rely less on psychotropic prescriptions.