Autism is also called as Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)is a broad term used to describe a group of neurodevelopmental disorders.
These disorders are characterized by problems with communication and social interaction. It can involve a wide range of symptoms and skills.They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel.This makes it hard for them to express from themselves, either from with words or through gestures,facial expressions and touch.
People with autism might have problems with learning.Their skills might develop unevenly.For example, they could have trouble communicating but be unusually good at art, music, math or memory.
The DSM-5 ( Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) currently recognizes five different subtypes of ASD which are –
• with or without accompanying intellectual impairment
• with or without accompanying language impairment
• associated with a known medical or genetic condition or environmental factor
• associated with another neurodevelopmental,mental or behavioral disorder
• with catatonia
Symptoms of autism usually appear before a child turns age of 3.
Common symptoms of autism are-
• A lack of eye contact
• Not looking at or listening to other people
• Not looking at things when another person points at them
• Doing something over and over, like repeating words or phrases, rocking back and forth, or flipping a lever
.• Not wanting to be held or cuddled
• Problem understanding or using speech, gestures,facial expressions,or tone of voice
• High sensitivity to sounds, touches,smells or sights that seems ordinary to other people
• Talking in a sing-song, flat or robotic voice
• Trouble adapting to changes in routine
Some children with autism may also have seizures
Autism Spectrum Disorders-
These types were once thought to be separate conditions.Now,they comes under thehang of autism spectrum disorders. They include –
• Asperger’s Syndrome-
These children donot havea problem with language,even they tend to score in the average or above- average range on intelligence tests. But they have social problems and a narrow scope of interests.
• Autistic Disorder –
It refers to problems with social interactions, communication and play in children younger then 3 years.
• Childhood Disintegrative Disorder –
These Children may have typical development for at least 2 years and then lose some or most of their communication and social skills.
• Pervasive Developmental Disorder PDD or atypical autism) –
your doctor might use this term if your child has some autistic behaviour,like delays in social and communication skills, but doesn’t fit into another category.
The exact cause of ASD is not known.The most Current research demonstrates that there’s no single cause.
Some of the suspected risk factors for Autism include-
• Genetic mutations
• Being born to older parents
• Low birth weight
• Having an immediate family member with autism.
• Metabolic imbalances
• Exposure to heavy metals and environmental toxins
• fetal exposure to medications such as valproicacid or thali- domide
Screening & Diagnosis –
The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) ba common screening tool used by many paediatric offices.This 23-question survey is filled out by parents.Paediatricians can then use the responses provided to identify childrenthatmay be at risk of having ASD.
Other screenings and tests–
• DNA testing for genetic diseases
• Behavioural evaluation
• Occupational therapy screening
• Visual and audio tests to rule out any issues with vision and hearing
• Developmented questionnaires, Such as theAutism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
There is no cure for Autism. But early treatment can make a big difference in development for a child with autism.
Many treatment approaches involve therapies such as: –
• Behavioral therapy
• Play therapy
• Occupational therapy
• Physical therapy
• Speech therapy
• Medications to help with symptoms of ASD,like attention problems, hyperactivity or anxiety
As per Ayurveda, mind (MANAS) is the medium that connects the sensory and the motor systems with the plane of consciousness(ATMA/BUDDHI).So a disruption in the channels/ pathways which carry the mind can cause distortion of sensory perception and motor responses. This status of clogged channels, polluted tissuesand disrupted mind is the most crucial change that we observed in these kids.
Another important consideration here is a term called 0JAS.Ojas is the status of internal environment of an individual created by perfect AGNI,healthy body tissues (DHATHUs), functional channels and pathways (SROTAS) and a well connected minded.It is an essential qualifications for any individual fight adverse situationlike toxic invasion and infections, to establish a healthy interaction with surroundings, and to ascertain an acceptable pattern of personal and social behaviour. With Ayurvedic tools, the status of ojas in an individual can be measured (with a questionnaire model). An approach which can enhance and stabilize the OJAS could improve the functional states of the autistic kids significantly.So there were four aspects to concentrate on –
• Perfect AGNI
• Healthy body tissues (DHATUs)
• Functional channels and pathways (SROTAS)
• Well-connected mind
Line of treatment-
• Shiropicu –
• Abhyanga –
• Shirodhara –
• Shirobasti –
• Brahmi –
• Mulethi –
• Ashwagandha –
Beneficial Medications –
• Mahakalyanaka Ghrita
• Mahapaisachika Ghrita
• Panchgavya Ghrita
• Ksheerbala Taila
• Shuddhabala Taila
• Vacha Churna
• Swarna Bhasm
• Mashadi Taila
• Lakshadi Taila
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