Autism is a neurological disorder that marks itself by abnormalities in social interaction, presenting itself by patterns of interest and behavior. There is no cure for autism, and not even scientists can agree on what causes it – genetics? Environment? Both? -- but the experts believe that symptoms appear as early as infancy.
Before Age Three
Experts say that for a person to be diagnosed as autistic, symptoms must be present prior to three years of age. For this reason it’s especially important to study child autism so that we might eventually understand this disorder.
Child autism typically presents itself in infancy. Typical babies smile and gaze into the eyes of adults – they play and interact with people and seem to enjoy the interaction. The case isn’t so, however, with child autism. Autistic babies prefer objects to faces and generally don’t present a need for human interaction.
Child autism also makes children more withdrawn. They don’t respond to acts of affection. Where a normal child will enjoy the security of a hug, with child autism, the child may reject any form of human interaction, especially touching.
It is said that as many as one American child in 166 has autism. That’s why we must study child autism. We must learn as much as we can about this disorder so that, someday, we may be able to find a cure.
It is important to note, however, that in child autism, it’s common for kids to not want a cure. For them, child autism is a part of who they are. They wouldn’t want it any other way.
Still No Cure
There is no cure for child autism but some autistic children, with proper schooling and intense therapy and practice, can develop enough social skills to attend normal schools and social functions.
While some children with autism are able to react normally with others, sometimes child autism presents itself in ways that aren’t acceptable to normal social situations. Autistic children sometimes exhibit behavior that they can’t control, such as fits of crying or screaming, or they may try to hurt themselves and withdraw excessively during especially stressful situations.
We are still a long ways off from understanding child autism, and we aren’t any closer to a cure. However, with enough love, understanding and patience, autistic children can lead as close to a normal life as possible.