Does your child struggle to communicate with others? Is he/ she smart yet not able to express their feelings? Does your child have no interest in playing or other activities? Have you noticed a sudden decline in your child’s speech, memory and motor skills ? These are the common signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is a spectrum disorder used to describe different types of conditions. Keep reading to understand more about the types of autism spectrum disorder.
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Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism is a complex condition which is indicated by facing challenges in interpersonal and communication skills, sensory sensitivities, obsessive and rigid behaviours. According to WHO, one in 100 children globally deal with autism. Currently, autism can be called as a “Spectrum disorder”. The term “spectrum” refers to the distinct range of behavioural and developmental issues and difficulties linked to autistic syndromes with different levels of severity. There are three different levels which are mild, moderate and severe and five different types of autism spectrum disorder. Some kids with ASD can be independent but others need support in their daily lives. Each kid with ASD is unique and can be associated with strengths in music, art, science and maths.
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Different types of Autism spectrum disorder
There are 5 different types of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) ranging from mild to severe type. Here are more details about the various types of austism spectrum disorders:
Asperger’s syndrome is the milder types of autism spectrum disorder. The majority of the people affected by Asperger’s syndrome were smart and able to carry out their daily duties, however they may struggle with social interactions. They may have repeated thoughts and behavioural patterns. Additionally, they struggle to express themselves with gestures, facial expression and body language.
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Rett’s syndrome is a type of genetic disorder which commonly affects girls. The early symptoms will develop in 6-18 month old babies with rett syndrome which includes impairment in development and inability to learn new skills. The severity of the symptoms will increase during 1-4 years as they experience decline in social, communication and motor skills. Mild autistic symptoms will be there at 2-10 years of age. After a decade,their muscles become weak and stiff which reduces their mobility.
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3.Childhood disintegrative disorder
Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), is the rarest and severe types of autism spectrum disorder which is also termed as Heller’s syndrome. In 1950, Heller, a scientist observed dementia in 2 year old children and sudden change in mood and development who previously had normal development. They will get irritated easily and have anger outburst. These children also show signs of anxiety and cognitive decline which leads to loss of speech.
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4.Pervasive developmental disorder-Not otherwise specified
Pervasive developmental disorder-Not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) is more severe than Asperger’s syndrome but it wasn’t as bad as other autistic disorders. Children with this type of autism spectrum disorder experience mild or fewer symptoms of autism. The early symptoms like developmental delay in head control will appear in 6 months old babies. At the age between 2-4 years, kids with PDD-NOS will be characterised by uncontrolled crying and hyperactivity. They might face challenges in interpersonal and communication skills. Early diagnosis of PDD-NOS and following behavioural therapies can help to manage the symptoms.
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5. Classical Autism
Classical Autism is the most severe types of autism spectrum disorders. It is also called Kanner’s syndrome. The symptoms may vary from mild to severe. Most kids struggle with non-verbal communication like they are unable to express themselves with facial expressions and gestures. Some children may repeat the same words again and again. They will be disinterested in activities like playing but they will be obsessed with one particular thing. Speech delay, frequent tantrums and not making eye contact are the other symptoms of classical autism.
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Tips for parents whose children have ASD
1.LEARN MORE ABOUT AUTISM
The more you understand about what causes autism, the better you will be able to make decisions for your child. Additionally, it is preferable to educate oneself about all treatments and participate in various decisions made by medical practitioners.
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2.MAKE YOURSELF A CHILD EXPERT FOR YOUR OWN CHILD
Determine all of the situations that cause your child to act out and those that help him or her relax. Moreover, if you understand it, you will be able to solve all problems more effectively and avoid difficult situations.
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3.ACCEPT YOUR CHILD EXACTLY HOW HE OR SHE IS
Instead of focusing on how your child differs from other children, consider what your child possesses. This will assist both him and you in accepting the situation with less regret.
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4.NEVER GIVE UP
It is impossible to predict the occurrence or progression of autism. It is always preferable to avoid jumping to conclusions and instead concentrate on identifying the problems. Autistic people, like everyone else, have a life to lead and live.
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Nutrient requirements of Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
It is very important to follow a healthy diet plan for kids with various types of Autism spectrum disorder. When the dietary needs of kids with autism spectrum disorder are met, the associated complications can be managed. Here are some proven foods for the brain development of kids:
All the nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashew, peanuts and hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E and help in boosting memory. They are also antioxidants which protect against cell damage. Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and are a valuable substance for brain function, memory and thinking abilities. This fatty acid also encourages cognitive functions.
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Apart from nuts, seeds like flax, chia, melon, sesame and pumpkins also contain powerful antioxidants like vitamin E that protect the brain from free radical damage. Sunflower seeds impact overall mood and mental processing powers. Therefore it is considered a brain boosting snack. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, copper, and much higher in zinc than other seeds, which help in increasing concentration and memory. One of the easiest to feed brain boosting foods for kids.
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3.OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS:
Multiple studies have shown the link between low omega 3 fatty acids and poor development, ADHD, speech delay, poor focus and concentration. These healthy fats are crucial for the brain development and helps to manage speech disorder and delay in kids.
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Pure cocoa powder (unsweetened) contains brain boosting components as it is packed with a large number of antioxidants molecules, the main is epicatechin helpful to improve cognition and speech impairment in studies. Hence cocoa powder is also an important brain development food for children.
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Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. It reduces anxiety and stress. Moreover, it increases acetylcholine levels which support better memory, mental focus and intelligence. Ashwagandha also improves communication between nerve cells and stimulates the body’s capacity to heal any nervous system damage.
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Brahmi is a superfood for the brain. It sharpen the brain by protecting cells and increasing chemicals associated with learning and memory. It has shown to improve spatial learning and retaining power in kids. That is why in older times, kids were often given Brahmi powder with ghee/honey. This would increase their focus and attention while keeping them calm and distressed.
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Shankhapushpi is a traditional remedy for increasing the functioning of the brain. The powerful antioxidants and flavonoids present in it improve the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Since it is a brain tonic and stimulator, people taking shankhapushpi have improved memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities.
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