Basic Understanding About Autism
Table of Contents
Definition of Autism
Autism is a brain development disorder that affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. In addition, Autism can also cause behavioral disorders.
Autism is currently referred to as Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or, in English, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The designation describes the symptoms, and the severity varies in each individual. ASD includes Asperger's, pervasive developmental disorder (PPD-NOS), autistic disorder, and childhood disintegrative disorder.
Based on data from WHO, Autism can occur in 1 in 160 children worldwide in 2019. In Indonesia, no data shows the exact number of individuals with Autism.
It is imperative to be aware of the characteristics of Autism as early as possible because if Autism is not successfully handling it, there are still several methods for dealing with Autism so that children can better adapt to everyday life.
The characteristics of Autism in each person are different. Some exhibit relatively mild features, such as activities of daily living that can still be performed with a bit of assistance. But individuals diagnosed with moderate or severe levels will need more help in carrying out daily activities.
The main characteristics shown by children with Autism are related to the communication and interaction of sufferers. Approximately 80-90% of individuals with Autism begin showing symptoms by the age of 2 years. In some cases, Autism can also be diagnosed at the age of 1 year, but it tends to be rare. In some cases that tend to be mild, the diagnosis of Autism may only be detected after the individual is an adult. This is usually seen from the individual's lack of ability to establish increasingly complex social relationships, as adults, which tend not to bother before.
Some of the symptoms are as follows:
1. Characteristics related to communication and interaction
In some cases, children with Autism can speak words, but this ability is reduced, and children show difficulties communicating. 40% of children with Autism cannot communicate verbally but can be taught to communicate with aids. These symptoms include:
- Does not respond when name is called.
- Does not express emotions.
- Not sensitive to other people's feelings.
- Often repeats words, but does not understand its use.
- Prefer to be alone.
2. Characteristics of behavior patterns
- Sensitive to light, touch or sound.
- Not responding to pain.
- Can get angry if there is a change from certain routines.
- Repetitive movements, such as waving the hands or rocking the body forward or backward.
In addition to the above characteristics, in some cases, individuals with autism are also diagnosed with comorbid disorders such as ADHD, epilepsy, Tourette's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression. We believe that early intervention is the key to optimal child growth. Therefore, parents must be aware of the characteristics above.
Causes of Autism
It is not known the proper causes of Autism. But several factors are thought to influence this condition, such as:
Boys are 4 times more likely to have autism than girls.
2. Genetic Factor
Approximately 2-18% of parents of children with autism, are at risk of having a second child with the same disorder.
3. Premature birth
Bayi yang kebetulan lahir pada masa kehamilan 26 minggu atau kurang.
4. Twins born
If the twins are not identical, there is a 31% chance that Autism will occur in both children. If the twins are identical, then the probability can reach 36-95%.
The older the parents when having children, the higher the risk of having a child with Autism. For men over 40 years, there is a risk of more than 28%. And they increased to 66% at the age of 50 years. Meanwhile, women over 40 have a chance of up to 77%.
6. Alcohol Consumption
Consuming alcohol or drugs, especially epilepsy drugs during pregnancy, increases the risk of having a child with Autism.
There is no relationship between vaccine administration and the diagnosis of Autism in a person. But in some cases, a diet of foods can also help their condition.