Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has various treatment approaches, but it is essential first to determine what it means to have an ASD. It is a neurological and developmental disorder beginning early in childhood and lasts for the entire life of a person. It is called a spectrum disorder because it causes those who have the condition to experience a range of symptoms.
It affects the way a person acts and interacts with other people, leans and communicates. Pervasive developmental disorders and what was known as Asperger syndrome are components of ASD.
It can make them have problems talking to people or looking others in the eye during conversations. They might also show signs of repetitive behaviors and restricted interest in many essential issues. The time that people with ASD take to put things in the right order is longer than other people. Others might repeat sentences again and again and do things that make them spear-like they are in their world.
The origin or autism is in the brain development. The most notable signs and symptoms of autism emerge at 12-8 months of age. Some of the infants can develop until they reach the second year of life. They start losing their skills and generate a pattern called regression.
Causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Until recently, there was no answer about the cause of autism spectrum disorder. Research finding is now providing more precise solutions. We now know that there is no single cause of autism just like it is not in one type. Scientists over the last five years have identified various rare gene mutations or changes with an association with autism. Autism risk genes according to findings from different studies are more than a hundred,
Around 15 percent of the cases occur because of a specific gene that medics can identify. Nevertheless, complex variable genetic risks combine with environmental factors to influence the development of brain early in life. The explanation shows that some non-genetic or environmental factors together with a genetic predisposition to autism influence an increase in the risk of children to get ASD. The most apparent evidence of the environmental risk factors are the events that happen before and during birth including:
- Advanced parental age at conception (both the father and mother)
- Severe maternal illness during expectancy
- Extreme prematurity and birth weight
- Some kinds of difficulties during birth especially those involving a period of oxygen deprivation to the brain
- Exposure of the mother to air pollution and high levels of pesticides
The above factors do not cause ASD on their own but in combination with the genetic risk factors that appear to increase risk.
Researchers are increasing their efforts to study the role of the immune system in the occurrence of autism. A small body of developing research suggest s that mothers who take prenatal vitamins that containing folic acid before they conceive and during pregnancy reduce the risk of autism in their babies.
Treatment approaches on autism spectrum disorder interchange
Treating ASD requires a multidimensional approach as there no single cure for all the signs and symptoms. A multiple approach helps to maximize the ability of a patient to function by reducing the ASD symptoms and supporting development as well learning. Early intervention during pre-school years allows children to learn critical social, functional, behavioral and communication skills. The range of treatments including the home and school-based interventions can be overwhelming making the patient change over time. The health care provider might recommend options and help to identify the most convenient resources.
Parents should make arrangements for early treatment if a diagnosis on their children shows that they have autism spectrum disorder by talking to experts about creating a treatment strategy. The procedure might involve a team of professionals with knowledge in various specialties necessary for meeting the needs of a child. The treatment options might include the following approaches that a patient receives in the combination that is most suitable for treating his or her type of ASD.
No particular type of medicine improves the core signs of ASD but the medication that healthcare providers subscribe help to manage them. For instance, children who are hyperactive due to autism might get antipsychotic drugs that doctors sometimes use to treat extreme behavioral problems. Antidepressants help to reduce anxiety. It is essential to provide up to date information on medication or supplements to health care providers that a patient is taking. The reason is that some of the medicines and supplement might interact to cause dangerous side effects.
Children with autism spectrum disorder can benefit much from highly structured educational programs because they respond well. Some of the successful programs include a team of specialists and various other activities that improve social skills, behavior, and communication. Preschool children show good progress if they receive intensive and individualized behavioral interventions.
3.Behavioral and communication therapies
Many programs to treat ASD address a range of social, behavioral and language difficulties that occur as a result of the disorder. Some of the programs focus on reducing the problem behaviors as well as teach new skills. Other programs focus on teaching the children how they should act in social situations and communicate in a better way. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) helps children to learn new skills that they can generalize to multiple situations through a motivation system that rewards achievements.
Speech-language therapy: will help to improve the communication skills in children with ASD. For instance, they can learn the way to use a normal up and down rather than a flat tone when speaking. They also get lessons on how to maintain a two-way conversation, understand social cues such as hand gestures and make eye contact.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Helps a child to change the way of thinking to gain better control of the emotions and the repetitive behaviors. It helps an ASD patient to learn techniques of controlling outbursts, obsessions, and meltdowns.
Social skills training: therapists teach the affected person in one-on-one sessions to impart skills on interacting with others and expressing themselves in better ways. The best approach to teach social skills is by making the patient model atypical behavior.
Applied behavior analysis
Applied behavior analysis is a technique that encourages positive social and communication skills but discourages undesirable behavior. A therapist will use praise and any other positive reinforcement’s methods that motivate the patient to change to achieve desired results.
Family therapies provide parent education and training. This training is a preserve of parents or those taking care of children with ASD to help them work on the social skills of the patient at home. Some families might also find a counselor to assist them in dealing with the challenges of living with someone who has autism. Parents and family members learn how to interact with ASD patients in ways that promote interaction skills, management of behavioral problems communication and teaching skills of daily living. It will also include ways to play with kids who have autism.
Other therapies for ASD.
There are many different therapies that a doctor can decide to apply after evaluating the needs of the patient with autism spectrum disorder. They can use speech therapy to improve the communication skills, physical therapy to improve mobility and balance and occupational therapy to training activities of daily living. A psychologist might recommend the right ways of addressing problem behavior.
Management of other existing conditions in autism spectrum disorder treatment
In some cases ASD, the patients will also have other medical and mental conditions that hinder living in the same manner as other people. It is essential to address the other these other conditions as part of the treatment approach.
Medical health issues
Children with ASD may have medical problems such as sleep disorders, stomach diseases, sleep disorders, and limited food preferences. It is essential for a doctor to define a way of managing any medical conditions together with autism therapy.
Mental health disorders
Teenagers and adults with ASD often have other mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. ASD doctor, a psychiatrist, community and service organizations can help in defining the best treatment for psychiatric conditions.
Complementary and alternative therapies
Because there is no definite cure for Autism Spectrum Disorder, many parents and those who are adults with the conditions try other therapies that complement the treatment approaches. The intention is to improve the life of the patient although some the alternative treatments have little or no research to prove their efficiency. It is important to determine those that provide the patient with benefits after use together with evidence-based therapies.
Examples of beneficial therapies are:
Sensory-based therapies: These are the therapies based on an unproven theory that the people who have autism spectrum disorder will have an auditory processing disorder that is a cause of problems in processing or tolerating sensory information such as balance, touch, and hearing. Therapists use materials such as squeeze toys, brushes or trampolines to stimulate the senses. These therapies are not evidence-based, but there is a possibility that they might offer some benefits but together with other treatments.
Creative therapies: Some of the parents take an option to supplement medical and educational intervention with music or art therapy that focuses on reducing the sensitivity of a child to sound or touch. These therapies might provide some benefit when in use with other treatments.
Massage: Massage is relaxing, but there is not enough evidence to verify if it improves the symptoms of ASD.
Pet therapy:The purpose of this therapy is to get a person living with ASD a pet for companionship as well recreation, but there is a need to determine if the interaction with the animals has a way to improve the symptoms of the disorder.
Harmless but non-evidence based alternative therapies
These complementary therapies might not cause any harm, but there is no evidence of their efficiency. They might include significant financial cost making it challenging to implement. These are some of the therapies in this category.
Acupuncture is a method of complementary medicine that uses fine needles which an acupuncturist inserts into specific points that are deemed to be meridians (lines of energy) through the skin for treatment of different mental and physical conditions.
The use of acupuncture does not have research backing, but it remains one of the popular methods for improving ASD symptoms.
There is no straight way to explain the scientific functioning of acupuncture, but it helps to relieve pain and to relieve a range of other complaints. Acupuncture enthusiasts say that it works by balancing the vital energy with some believing that it has a neurological effect.The Chinese and eastern countries use it but it western medical doctors consider it a controversy.
Eating special diets
Restrictive diets might cause nutritional deficiencies to growing children. It is essential to pursue a restrictive diet will be better if it involves a consulting a registered dietician to develop an appropriate meal plan.
In the standard treatment that does not involve reliance on alternative therapies, doctors do not recommend a special diet for autism spectrum disorder, but it is essential to get proper nutrition. There is a belief that restricting gluten or casein in the diet might help to improve some of the symptoms. Gluten and casein are proteins in wheat and milk products.products.The action does not have a backing of any research and limiting dairy in daily food intake might prevent proper development of the bone. It is unnecessary and might even be dangerous because kids with autism spectrum disorder usually have thinner bones thus bone-building foods are essential.
Dangerous treatment approaches
Their treatment approaches are in use, but experts say they do not have evidence about their benefits in treating symptoms of ASD and are even potentially dangerous. The methods that autism experts do not recommend are:
Chelation therapy: removal or mercury and any other heavy metals from the body. Experts say there is no evidence of success and it is too intensive for the patient.
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment: Breathing oxygen in a pressurized chamber but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not given its approval.
IVIG(Intravenous immunoglobulin) infusions: no evidence to show its efficiency and it does not have any approval by FDA.
The new treatment approaches to autism spectrum disorder require a thorough evaluation to evaluation of the patient needs and evidence of efficiency before use. The patients require much support and care from the family even when taking medication and undergoing therapy.