Whenever someone comes to know that their child has Autism, perhaps the first question that crosses their mind is – is it possible to reverse Autism? We wish we could give you a straightforward ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as an answer but unfortunately, we can’t. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex condition that manifests itself differently in different individuals. Hence, there cannot be a fit-for-all type of answer to any question related to Autism. In most cases, Autism cannot be cured but early intervention and proper follow-ups can enable an Autistic person to have a higher quality of life.
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Current Treatment Options
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder i.e. a development disorder of the nervous system. Although, It basically affects the communication and behavior of a person but the symptoms can take myriads of form. The symptoms of Autism start showing themselves very early – typically between 12 to 24 months. But, normally pediatricians are not able to diagnose it until later. The symptoms typically become more noticeable when the child starts going to school or playing with other children of her age.
Most of the health experts who treat ASD are of the view that it cannot be treated but the symptoms can be managed. They unanimously agree that starting a supportive therapy as early as possible is very important. The earlier the help is given the better the person will be able to manage her symptoms. However, there is no fixed set of ASD therapy. The therapies related to ASD are like a buffet; you have to pick what you need.
In Fact, The American Association of Pediatrics recommends researching for therapies for your child as soon as you suspect she might be Autistic. Being a complex condition, it cannot be diagnosed very easily. Your lots of precious time will be lost in getting a confirmed diagnosis of ASD for your child.
Types of Therapies You Can Get for Your Autistic Child
As mentioned earlier, Autism manifests itself differently in different individuals. Some people might have more severe symptoms related to their behavior while some may encounter severe speech and communications issues. Different symptoms need different treatment. Here are some of the common therapy options available that can help you reduce symptoms of Autism in your child.
Therapy for Behavioral Issues
Behavioral issues are almost always present in people with Autism. However, the category of the behavioral issue is very broad and covers issues like excessive tantrums, self-injury, issues with emotional regulations, aggressive or violent behavior, etc. If your child shows symptoms of behavioral issues you can get the help of a therapist.
Therapies for Sensory Issues
Your child may exhibit hyper or hypo-responsiveness towards stimuli in her surroundings. Sensory and tactile defensiveness too is common symptoms in an autistic child. Sometimes a loving hug can be too much for an autistic child to handle. A therapy for sensory issues can help your child in handling their sensory overload.
Therapy for Speech and Communication Issues
Your child might have a lot to say but her Autism symptom can restrict her from expressing herself. A therapy in speech and communication can develop your child’s vocabulary, language, and communication skills.
Therapy for Social Skill Issues
The majority of children and adults with Autism need help in developing their social and interpersonal skills. Therapies for social skills issues include important aspects of personality development like self-acceptance and self-love. With these therapies, autistic people learn to be themselves and accept themselves as an integral part of society which helps them to get wider acceptance in their social circles be it at school, work, or life in general.
Unlike the above-mentioned therapies, play therapies are not focused on any particular development skill. They are rather meant for the overall development of autistic children. Play therapies are specifically designed for toddlers and young children. There are various types of play therapies for children with Autism, such as Floortime therapy and Integrated Play Groups Therapy, etc. These therapies are effective in developing behavioral, communication as well as social skills in young children.
If an Autistic child shows slow progress in learning the activities of daily living like holding a fork, combing her hair, brushing her teeth, buttoning a dress or tying a shoe, she might need the help of an occupational therapist. The focus of occupational therapies remains on the needs of the child as per her age. Thus, occupational therapies are structured differently for different individuals. An occupational therapist might help your child with her motor & coordination skills, body awareness, visual & learning skills, interaction & communication as well as adaptive strategies. In a nutshell, occupational therapies make people with autism as independent as they can.
Possibility of Autism Reversal
Now that we have given you the currently practical knowledge about Autism and the management of its symptoms, let’s have a glimpse of hope researchers are trying to give us. Recently there have been a few claims of children having ‘grown out’ of their Autism symptoms. A few research too confirm that minority among minority children with diagnosed Autism can recover from the condition although the reason is yet not known.
A 2018 research done on mice at UT Southwestern Medical Center also revealed that autistic behaviors can be reversed in adolescent and adult mice. If the finding translates itself to humans, it will be a great achievement for science and we hope to witness that soon. But, currently, medical science and doctors practically talk only about the management of Autism symptoms.
The future might make the reversal of Autism a possibility. Currently, Autism cannot be reversed but the symptoms can be managed. The earlier you provide your child with required therapies the better she can be in managing her autism symptoms and leading an independent and fulfilling life.
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