Autism or autism is one of the disorders belonging to a group of developmental disorders called in the medical language Autism Spectrum Disorders - ASD, it appears in infancy, usually before the child reaches the age of three years.

Although the severity and symptoms of autism vary from case to case, all autism disorders affect a child's ability to communicate with those around him and develop mutual relationships with them.

Estimates show that 6 out of every 1,000 children in the United States have autism and the number of diagnosed cases of the disorder is constantly increasing.

It is not yet known if this increase is the result of better effective detection and reporting of cases, or an actual and real increase in the number of people with autism, or the result of these two factors together.

Although there is no cure for autism yet, intensive treatment and early diagnosis can make a significant and significant change in the lives of children with this disorder.

The main difficulties faced by autistic patients

Children with autism also almost certainly have difficulties in three basic developmental areas:

Mutual social relations.

the language.

the behavior.

As children progress towards adulthood, some of them may become more able and willing to mingle and integrate into the surrounding social environment, and they may show fewer behavioral disturbances than those characteristic of autism, and some may even succeed in leading a normal life or lifestyle soon From normal and normal.

On the other hand, others continue to have difficulties in language skills and in social interactions, to the extent that adulthood worsens their behavioral problems.

Some children are slow in learning new information and skills, and others have normal intelligence, or even higher than other normal people. These children learn quickly but have communication problems in applying things they have learned in their daily lives and in coping with different situations.

A very small proportion of children with autism are self-educated and have unique exceptional skills, especially in a particular field, such as: art, mathematics or music.

Because the signs and symptoms of autism vary from patient to patient, two different children with the same medical diagnosis are likely to behave in very different ways and to have entirely different skills.

But severe autism cases are characterized in the majority of cases by the absolute inability to communicate, or to establish reciprocal relationships with other people.

Most children develop symptoms of autism in infancy, while other children may arise and develop completely normally during the first months or years of life but suddenly become withdrawn, hostile, or lose the language skills they have acquired until then.

Although every child has symptoms of autism, and shows its own temperament and patterns, the following symptoms are the most common for this type of disorder:

1. Disorders in social skills

Symptoms appear on the patient as follows:

He does not respond to the call of his name.

No more direct eye contact.

It seems he can't hear him.

Refuses to hug or shrinks in on himself.

It seems that he is not aware of the feelings and feelings of others.

He seems to like to play alone, and expects his own person in his world

2. Problems with language skills

The following are the main symptoms of language skills difficulties:

Begins to speak at a later age compared to other children.

He loses the ability to say certain words or sentences he was previously familiar with.

Makes eye contact whenever he wants something.

Speaks in a strange voice or with different tones and rhythms, or speaks using a singing voice, or in a voice similar to that of a robot.

Cannot initiate a conversation or continue an existing conversation.

May repeat words, phrases, or terms but does not know how to use them.

3. Behavioral problems

The following are the main symptoms of behavioral problems in autistic patients:

Performs repetitive motions, such as rocking, spinning in circles, or waving hands.

Develops habits and rituals that he repeats all the time.

He loses his calm when there is any change, even the simplest or smallest change, in these customs or rituals.

be constantly moving.

Being amazed and fascinated by certain parts of the objects, such as: a wheel spinning in a toy car.

Being overly sensitive to light, sound, or touch, but unable to feel pain.

Young children have difficulties when asked to share their experiences with others

Causes and risk factors for autism

There is no single, single factor known as a conclusively confirmed cause of autism.

However, given the complexity of the disease, the extent of autistic disorders, and the fact that two autistic states do not match, that is, between two autistic children, it is likely that there are many factors that cause autism.

Causes of autism

Among the most important causes that may lead to autism:

1. Hereditary disorders

Researchers have discovered several genes likely to play a role in causing autism, some of which make a child more susceptible to the disorder, while others affect brain growth and development and the way brain cells communicate with each other.

Any genetic defect by itself and alone may be responsible for a number of cases of autism, but it seems in a holistic view that genes in general have a very central or even decisive influence on autism, and some genetic disorders may be transmitted genetically, while others may appear spontaneously (Spontaneous). ).

2. Environmental factors

A large part of health problems are the result of genetic and environmental factors combined together, and this may be true in the case of autism.

Recently, researchers are examining the possibility that a viral infection or environmental pollution may be a motivating factor for the development of autism.

3. Other factors

There are other factors that are being researched and studied recently, including: problems during childbirth, and the role of the immune system in everything related to autism.

Some researchers believe that damage to the amygdala, a part of the brain that acts as a risk detector, is one factor in triggering the onset of autism.

Autism risk factors

Autism may appear in any child of any origin or nationality, but there are known risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing autism, and these factors include:

1. Baby's gender

Research has shown that male children are three times more likely to develop autism than female children.

2. Family history

Families that have a child with autism have a higher probability of giving birth to another child with the disease, and it is known and common that parents or relatives who have a child with autism suffer from certain disorders themselves in some developmental skills, or development, or even from autistic behaviors specific.

3. Other disorders

Children with certain medical problems are more likely to develop autism. These medical problems include:

Fragile x syndrome, an inherited syndrome that leads to mental disorders.

Tuberous sclerosis, which leads to the formation and development of tumors in the brain.

A neurological disorder known as Tourette syndrome.

Epilepsy that causes seizures.

4. Parent's age

Researchers tend to believe that parenting at a later age may increase the likelihood of developing autism.

Very comprehensive research has shown that children born to men over the age of 40 are 6 times more likely to develop autism than children born to fathers under the age of 30, and the research shows that mother's age has a marginal effect on the risk of autism

disease diagnosis

The formal assessment of autism includes the following:

Consultation of the child's specialist doctor.

Conversation with parents about the child's social skills, language abilities, and behavior, and about how and to what extent these factors change and develop over time.

Subjecting the child to several examinations and tests to assess his speech and language abilities and to examine some psychological aspects.

Although the initial symptoms of autism appear before the age of 18 months, the final diagnosis is sometimes made when the child reaches the age of two or three years only, when there is a defect in development, a delay in the acquisition of language skills, or a defect in interpersonal social relations.

Early diagnosis is very important, because early intervention, especially before the child reaches the age of three years, is a very important element in achieving the best possibilities and opportunities for an improvement in the situation.

what is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder

It is a mental disorder that affects the stages of brain growth and development, which affects the formation of

Cognitive content of the child

And how he perceives the people and things around him after that, and with this injury

The disorder results in a defect in communication and social interaction, and a defect in behavior

In general, a child with autism is often diagnosed after the age of three, where the signs and symptoms of autism appear clearly in children, which are represented in the lack of

The ability to socially interact, mingle and play with other children, and poor language, visual and motor skills.

types of autism

There are various types and stages of autism, where the incidence of autism in children varies, and these types are divided into:

Asperger syndrome

Asperger's is one of the most common stages of autism in which a large proportion of autistic children suffer from around the world, and children with this syndrome are somewhat distinguished from other types,

As they do not suffer from weak mental and linguistic abilities, but their main problem is poor communication and social interaction with others.

Desire to socialize, and they do not succeed in mixing with friends or in establishing any social relationship.

complete autism

Children with complete autism are classified among the mentally and mentally retarded category, as they are characterized by delays in many abilities, whether visual, motor, mental, and social

Also, they are characterized by strange behavior that may amount to violence and aggression.

Kanner's syndrome

Kaner's autism, or classic autism, is one of the types of autism that affects many children and is characterized by stable and clear symptoms starting from the age of two months, which are dispersal

Attention, delayed pronunciation, and lack of response to feelings and social interaction around them.

Rett syndrome

Rett autism affects females only, according to recent medical results and research, and this type of autism begins to be noticed with the eighth month, when the growth of the circumference stops.

The child's head may even be smaller than normal, and the condition begins to lose control of the extremities such as the hands and legs and move them vaguely

These reasons:

Biological reasons:

Biological causes are due to disorders and defects that may occur in the genes of the fetus during pregnancy, which cause this child to develop autism, such as

Any problem or defect in the growth and development of the brain and nervous system.


There may be some genetic genes that may cause a defect in the development of the nervous system of the fetus, leading to autism.

Unsafe pregnancy period:

When the pregnant mother is infected with some diseases, such as the "rubella virus", it makes the pregnancy period unsafe for the fetus, as that is the first cause

The main reason is that he has some diseases, including autism

Unsafe feeding:

The matter of protecting your child is not only during pregnancy, but extends to the period of breastfeeding, so you must be careful not to take medications that cause an imbalance in the chemistry of the genes

The body and the nervous system, because it may be the cause of his infection with this disease.

Brain tumors:

The growth of tumors in the brain, whether benign or malignant, causes autism, according to research and medical studies reached by some doctors.

Exposure to environmental toxins:

Environmental pollution is a major and central cause of many diseases of the age, including autism, where direct exposure to pesticides and metals is now widespread

dangerous such as lead and mercury

The month of the signs of autism in children that your child may appear:

Prefers loneliness and isolation from others.

Lack of desire for any social contact.

Annoyed with mixing with other children.

Does not want physical contact.

He is not aware of any danger around him.

Repeating phrases uttered by the people around him.

Excessively attached to and attached to material things.

He uses his hands to point and express whatever he wants.

Has high motor skill for certain activities and fails to cope with other activities.

Impaired visual-motor coordination.

He does not respond to his name being called.

Poor eye contact, as he never looks in the eyes of the person talking to him.

Can autism be diagnosed before three years?

In fact, it is difficult to diagnose autism before this age, because the symptoms of autism are closely related to the child's weak abilities, and this is normal for a child who has not

Three years later, the signs of autism are mixed with the nature and abilities of children at this age, but we can identify some of the signs that we can diagnose

autism, such as:

Not responding quickly to the mother's voice.

Not paying attention when calling his name.

Poor eye contact with the mother or anyone else.

Weakness of language skills after one year of age.

Delayed pronunciation and speech.

Desire to isolate and not prefer mixing and playing with children of his age.

Treatment of autism There is no complete cure for autism, autism, classic autism disorder, autism spectrum disorder, or autism spectrum disorder to date, and the methods used to treat autism aim to increase the ability of the patient To practice his daily activities and life, and this is achieved by alleviating symptoms and supporting the development and learning process of the patient, and to achieve this; The treatment journey for the injured usually begins during the pre-school stage, as these early interventions help the child learn social and communication skills, in addition to acquiring various behavioral and functional skills, and the treatment methods used vary according to the case, as there is no single treatment suitable for all children. People with autism, so parents should review specialists to determine the best treatment methods that suit the child’s need once he is diagnosed with autism, and in general there are many treatment methods that can be applied at home, or at school, and it is worth noting that treatment strategies may vary over time. The time in response to the needs of the patient himself, and the earlier the treatment, the better the results, and the different treatments for autism will be explained in the following.

Behavior and communication treatments Autism, as mentioned earlier, is associated with some behavioral, social, and language difficulties, and therefore behavior and communication treatments include many different programs, some of which work to provide the child with new skills and reduce behavioral problems, and some focus on teaching children with autism the correct way of interaction. To the different social situations they may be exposed to, and teach them how to communicate with others better.

 Applied behavior analysis is one of the types of autism treatments proven to be effective in improving the skills of sufferers and reducing their need for some special services, as it works to develop specific behaviors, such as: social skills, communication, reading, and academic skills. In addition to providing the child with adaptive learning skills, which include fine motor skills, the foundations of personal hygiene, the necessary abilities to perform household tasks, punctuality, as well as functional competence. It can be applied at school, home, workplace, or medical clinics.

 Applied behavior analysis, in turn, is divided into several types, which we mention as follows:

 Discrete experimental training: This type works to identify a specific behavior that the sufferer wants to acquire, and then divide it into simple steps to facilitate its implementation.

Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention This is a type of treatment for children younger than 5 years old. Pivotal response treatment training, which focuses on important aspects of the affected child's development, such as self-management and assuming responsibility when dealing with some social situations.

 Behavioral Intervention:

This type aims to improve the verbal skills of a child with autism. Educational treatments Educational treatments include a set of highly organized educational programs, which work to improve and develop social skills, communication, and behaviors, and for the success of this type of treatment, it is necessary to have a team of specialists, in addition to a variety of activities, and experiences have proven that the application of these behavioral interventions Intensively and individually for autistic children of pre-school age will achieve the desired development, and a good response.

 Family therapies Family therapies are to teach parents and family members in general how to interact and play with their children with autism, which ensures the achievement of a set of results, including enhancing social interaction skills, controlling incorrect behaviors, learning daily life skills, in addition to proper communication.

 Speech therapy Speech therapy helps to overcome communication problems that autistic people may suffer from, and this can be achieved by using a speech therapist to teach autistic people how to match their facial expressions with how they feel, how to interpret body language, and how to answer questions, in addition to work. Teach him how to find and notice the nuances of tone of voice, and help to strengthen the way of pronunciation and increase its clarity.

 Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy includes developing the skills necessary for daily life and achieving a kind of self-reliance and independence. The patient can begin to try and apply these skills outside the training sessions, and among the skills that are taught to the child with autism during occupational therapy sessions: wearing clothes without any assistance, basics of personal hygiene, and some fine motor skills

Social skills classes The purpose of social skills classes, as the name shows, is to help improve the way a child with autism interacts with others, in addition to teaching him how to form social bonds with them. Training and applying these classes can be done in various places; Such as home, school, or community, and these classes are managed by a specialist, and it is important to cooperate with parents and train them in order to improve their performance.