Children with autism cannot tolerate any change, and activities are limited. They seem “in their world”, I do not feel the need to be manipulated and relaxed, I do not look in the eye of the interlocutor, I seem not to hear if they are shouted, they do not notice if someone enters or leaves the room, they do not play with other children but more with parts of objects seem indifferent to everything around them.
Intellectual development – about 75% of those affected by autism have a mental deficit, difficulty writing by hand.
Additional features of children affected by autism: indifference to pain, cold sensation, unusual sensitivity to odors, appetite for whimsical eating, disorders of urinary control, sleep, anxiety (fear) especially to loud noises, places, unplanned situations, panic at hugs or touch, fascination for rotating objects or toys, mechanisms, cars.
Atypical autism , a form of autism that does not meet all of the above criteria. Often consists of manifestations occurring in conditions of lack of affectivity and non-stimulation. Most often in institutionalized conditions (children in homes, children cradles, abandoned). . Often a severe psychiatric and language delay associated with auto and heteroaggressiveness.
Asperger’s disorder or “autistic psychopathy” characterized by good language, a normal or superior intelligence coefficient, but with high deficits of low interrelation and social functioning. They often have a memory of extraordinary figures or data (mathematical memory), islands of abilities in which they excel (computer, tourist orientation, acting, exact sciences, forecasts)
Childhood autism – Treatment
Treatment for childhood autism should instituted as early as possible. There no specific treatment. The disorder lasts a lifetime, does not disappear (the child with autism will become an adult with autism). It necessary to advise the family to understand the nature of the disease, its chronicity, to accept it and to co-operate in the therapeutic process.
Psychopharmacological treatment , done with antipsychotic drugs of antidepressants, anticonvulsants and amphetamines.
Specific educational intervention – a special education required, schooling with a small number of children to a teacher.
Behavioral therapy – there was an improvement in IQ (IQ) and functioning in society at 2 years of therapy starting from an early age.
The methods used to treat childhood autism are:
ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) – based on the reward principle and has very good results in children with high ability to imitate
TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication – Handicapped Children) . Program that uses various techniques and methods to replace the incorrect behaviors with the correct ones
PECS – (Picture Exchange Communication System) . The method that uses pictograms (cartoons) so that a child without language can ask what he wants. The use of PECS increases the chances of the language spoken to the child
Their purpose: to increase the deficient behaviors and to reduce the excess ones.
Individual therapy, whether or not associated with medication. Performed on autistic people with high functionality, superior intelligence, to prevent depression that occurs due to the awareness that they are different from the others.
* The term Pervasive Developmental Disorders used to refer to a group of medical conditions. Characterized by insufficient development of basic skills. Especially of socialization, communication or imagination use capabilities.