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Autism spectrum disorders: what they are and how they manifest in children

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The autism spectrum is a set of disorders that generally manifest themselves in the first two years of life: let's see the causes, symptoms and treatment.

What is the autism spectrum ? Talking about a single meaning is complicated, given that we are dealing with a set of neurodevelopmental disorders. Generally, it occurs within two years of age, but a milder form of the disease during the schooling period cannot be excluded. Let's see what are the causes, symptoms and treatment of the disease.

Autism Spectrum Disorders: What is it?

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a range of conditions in which people have difficulty engaging in normal social relationships. Generally, they do not speak at all or use language abnormally and engage in repetitive and limited behaviors. The autistic syndrome leads individuals to have rigid behavior patterns and limited interests/activities. DSA are neurodevelopmental disorders, which can be evaluated first with patient observation, both by experts and family members, then with other specific standardized tests for the screening of autism.

At one time, autism spectrum disorders had the following classifications : classic autism, Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified. To date, this distinction has been overcome and we speak of a set of disorders, or DSA, which can be distinguished according to the type and severity.

Autism spectrum: symptoms and treatment

The autism spectrum can affect one in 54 people and is especially prevalent among men. To date, the causes of the disorders are not fully known, but are often linked to genetic factors. There are some risk factors, such as genetic abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis complex. To these must be added: viral infections (rubella or cytomegalovirus ), prematurity and shape or functioning of the brain. Generally, autism appears during the first 2 years of life, but in milder forms it can manifest itself up to school age. The symptoms, as already anticipated above, are clear: poor or non-existent communication and social interactions and limited or repetitive behavior patterns.

When it comes to autism, we generally don't talk about healing because the disorders accompany the individual throughout his life. Treatment includes: an applied behavior analysis (ABA), educational programs, speech therapy and speech therapy, and sometimes medication.

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