is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social
interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.
These signs all begin before a child is three years old. The autism
spectrum disorders (ASD) also include related conditions with milder
signs and symptoms.
Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by multigene interactions or by rare mutations. In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects. Other proposed causes, such as childhood vaccines, are controversial, and the vaccine hypotheses lack any convincing scientific evidence. The prevalence of ASD is about 6 per 1,000 people, with about four times as many boys as girls. The number of people known to have autism has increased dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.
Autism affects many parts of the brain; how this occurs is not understood. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. Although early behavioral or cognitive intervention can help children gain self-care, social, and communication skills, there is no known cure. Few children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, but some become successful, and an autistic culture has developed, with some seeking a cure and others believing that autism is a condition rather than a disorder.
There are many types of medications used to treat Autism. These medications will fall into different categories based on the type of problem that is being dealt with. Medication will not cure the Autism, it just helps with some of the problems associated with it. Here are some of the medications used when treating an Autistic child.
This type of medication is used to treat behaviour problems in children with Autism. They can also be used to treat insomnia, and aggression. This type of medication should be used if behaviour therapy is not working. Some times an Autistic child will try to harm their selves. Antipsychotic medicines can help control this.
Some Autistic children have seizures. This type of medication is used in controlling or preventing the seizures.
Depression and Anxiety Medications
A large portion of Autistic children deal with depression and anxiety. They need medication to help control these feelings. These medications are found to cause suicidal thoughts in some kids. Watch for changes in your child's behaviour.
Children with Autism sometimes have a hard time falling asleep at night. They are given a sedative to help them sleep. There are natural alternatives that can be used in place of sedatives. They will not make your child dependant on them to fall asleep.
Stimulants are used in treating kids with hyperactivity. They are also used in children that have a hard time paying attention or concentrating. These medicines can help the child focus longer. This can be useful for a school age child who is having problems paying attention in school. They can help a child who is having trouble staying focused on their school work. This can mean a difference in passing or failing.
Medications can help treat the problems found in Autistic children. Parents need to be careful when using any medications with their children. Some of these medications can have terrible side effects. Each child will react differently to the medicine. If you notice the medicine is not helping consult your child's doctor.
Medications need to be combined with other types of therapy to successfully work in treating Autism. Always use the lowest effective dose of the medications. Do not start or stop a medication without talking to your child's doctor first.
Some Autistic children do not speak so it is important to watch for changes in their behaviour. If they begin acting strange they could be having a reaction to the medicine, and need to see the doctor.
Medication should be a last resort when treating Autism. If it must be used, combine the medication with other forms of therapy for better results.
Remember the medicine is not a cure for Autism. The medicine just helps to lesson some of the symptoms the child is experiencing. Always be sure of the correct dosage of medication to give your child. Talk to the doctor about any long terms side effects caused by the prescription.
Also make sure to ask about any interactions with other medications your child is taking. Sometimes medication will be the only thing that helps your Autistic child. Just make sure the child is monitored for any side effects.
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