Autism : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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It is a developmental disorder, in which the symptoms can be seen from the age of 3. The situation gets complicated with the growth in body. It affects the normal working of the brain and influences growth, and development of communication and social skills. Autism is common in boys, in comparison to the girls.



Autism is a physical state, related to abnormal chemistry and biology in the brain. The actual causes of these abnormalities are unknown. There is a combination of factors, which causes autism. Genetic factors play an important role in autism.

The other causes of Autism are:

  • Vaccine sensitivity
  • Diet
  • Mercury poisoning
  • Changes in the digestive tract
  • Inability of the body, to consume minerals and vitamins
  • Differences in the brain (larger than the normal)

There are four types of Autism, which comes under the severe criteria:

  1. Rett Syndrome
  2. Asperger Syndrome
  3. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  4. Pervasive Developmental Disorder


The symptoms of autistic children are visible, when they are of 18 months. By the time their parents look for the treatment, they find themselves late. Children, who have Autism, faces problems in:

  • Social interaction
  • Playing
  • Verbal and non verbal communication

Some children, who are suffering from Autism, seem normal till 1-2 years of age. Suddenly, they tend to lose soft skills, they gained previously. This is the regressive Autism. People, with this type of Autism, may:

  • Repeat movements in the body
  • Show strange attachments towards the objects
  • Get over sensitive in sight, touch, listening, taste, or smell (five senses)
  • Get distressed, if routines are changed

The symptoms may vary from mild to severe.

Communication problem involves:

  • Developing language slowly or not developing
  • Repetition in certain words
  • Finding difficulties in starting a new social conversation
  • Preferring gestures to communicate, instead of words
  • Lack in interaction

Social interaction:

  • They withdraw it
  • Don’t play  games
  • Do not make friends
  • Found with lack in empathy
  • Treat others as mere objects

Sensory information:

  • Get either high, or low response to pain
  • Rub surfaces
  • Licks objects
  • Find normal noises too loud
  • Avoid physical contact


  • Lack of attention
  • Narrow interests
  • Very passive or over reactive
  • Show the excess of aggressiveness on themselves or others
  • Perseveration
  • Show an excess of tantrums

Treatment and medications

An early, appropriate, and intensive treatment improves the attitude of children, suffering with autism. Visual aids are also helpful.

The therapies:

  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Applied behaviour analysis
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech language therapy
  • Vision therapy
  • Sensory integration


The medicines are used for treating the emotional and behavioural problems, in autistic patients. The problems are:

  • Aggression
  • Tantrums
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Outbursts
  • Mood swings

At present, only “Risperidone” is medically approved for autistic children’s’ treatment. The prescribed age group is, 5-16 years. It controls aggression and irritability. The other medicines used are Divalproex sodium, SSRIs, and methylphenidate.

The stress of dealing with autism can lead to emotional and social difficulties for caregivers, family members, and the sufferer.