Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment in Delhi

At Child Therapy Needs, systems are made to provide a wide range of treatment options and therapies aimed at assisting individuals with autism in leading a more productive and independent life. The services do include professional assistance for individuals to help them deal with autism.

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What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder. The condition is known to affect one’s communication, behavior, and social interaction. ASD is characterized by a wide range of symptoms, and they vary in degrees of severity (hence the term ‘spectrum’ disorder). It may cause mild symptoms in some individuals, while others may face severe challenges.

Causes

Although the exact causes of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are not fully understood under medical research and studies, the condition is believed to have resulted from a combination of various factors, including:

  • Genetic
  • Environmental
  • Neurological

Listed below are some crucial factors that are believed to be resulting in the development of ASD:

Genetic Factors

Like most neurological conditions, genetics tends to play a crucial role in the development of ASD. According to studies and research, it has been revealed that certain genes may be responsible for the increased risk of developing autism. Multiple genes may cause the development of this complex genetic condition. It has also been revealed through studies that some cases of ASD are associated with specific genetic syndromes. On the other hand, some cases may not have any known genetic cause.

Environmental Factors

Many studies have been conducted on the contribution of environmental factors to the development of ASD. It was revealed that certain factors may lead to ASD. However, the actual contribution of these factors is yet to be proven. Some researchers have also studied prenatal factors to understand the effects on the fetus during its developmental stages. Many factors, such as exposure to certain medications, infections, or toxins during pregnancy, were carefully studied. Presently, the actual link with the condition is not yet well established.

Neurological Factors

Individuals with ASD have abnormalities in brain development and function. Any variance in natural brain structure and connectivity may encourage the development of characteristic symptoms of autism, such as challenges with communication and social interaction.

Parental Age

As per some studies, it is revealed that there is a link between pregnancy at an older age (older parenting age - maternal and paternal) and an increased risk of a child developing ASD. However, the percentage of this risk is very low, as many children with ASD are born to younger and middle-aged parents.

Immune System Dysfunction

Some studies have revealed that there may be a connection between the immune system and immune system dysfunction in the development of autism.

Epigenetics

These factors involve variations in gene expression wherein the underlying DNA sequence remains unaffected (unaltered), which may cause the development of ASD. In most cases, alterations in epigenetics may be induced by genetic and environmental factors.

Signs and Symptoms of ASD

Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by several signs and symptoms that may vary in terms of severity. In most cases, the symptoms are visible during early childhood. It is proven that identification of these symptoms at an early stage and medical intervention on time can help with better outcomes.

Listed below are some of the common signs and symptoms:

Social Challenges

  • Children face issues with social interaction and developing relationships.
  • Children do not like to make eye contact. Their facial expressions do not convey their feelings or responses to actions around them.
  • ASD makes it very tough for a child to understand or respond to social activities, engagement, and interaction. For instance, they cannot understand gestures or voice tone.
  • Children with ASD find it tough to share emotions or interests with others.

Communication Challenges

  • Children with ASD show delayed speech development. In some cases, children may suffer from a lack of speech altogether.
  • Children show a very limited ability to engage in a live conversation.
  • ASD can lead to difficulty understanding and using non-verbal communication. For example, you may see a child having difficulty understanding gestures.
  • Most children will show strange, repetitive, or unusual language patterns. The common symptom is echolalia, wherein the child keeps repeating words or phrases.

Repetitive Behaviors

  • The child often engages in repetitive movements or activities. Some of the common examples are rocking, hand-flapping, rocking, or spinning objects.
  • Children are attached to certain strict routines or rituals, which make them very upset and distressed when routines are disturbed.
  • Children with ASD are known to have a fixation on specific topics or objects and an intense focus on them.

Sensory Sensitivities

  • ASD can cause heightened sensitivity to sensory stimuli, such as textures, lights, smells, and sounds.
  • The child may overreact or underreact to sensory input.
  • Children often engage in self-soothing behaviors to cope with sensory sensitivities.

Restricted Interests

Most children are known to develop intense and narrow interests in an object or a specific topic. They will devote significant time and attention to these interests. A child with ASD will not engage in activities outside of their interest areas.

Challenges with Change

Children with ASD are sensitive to change, which makes them resistant to changes in routines or environments. The child may get very upset or anxious after encountering an unexpected change.

Empathy, Impairment, and Perspective-Taking

The child is unable to understand and relate to the emotions and perspectives of others.

Unusual motor movements

Most children are seen engaging in unusual or repetitive body movements, like when the child keeps rocking his or her body or licking a finger.

No interest in pretend play

The child may show little or no interest in imaginative or pretend play; other symptoms include limited or absent engagement.

Intellectual and developmental differences

Children may display a wide range of intellectual abilities. ASD may cause an intellectual disability in some children, while others may be born with above-average intelligence. Many children with ASD tend to develop specific strengths, such as above-average performance in mathematics or memorization.

Types of Autism

Autism spectrum disorder cannot be formally classified into "types". Individuals with ASD are unique and may present with different profiles. The symptom severity may vary too. Listed below are some common variations within the spectrum:

Autistic Disorder (Classic Autism)

The condition is characterized by significant impairments in social interaction and communication. The child may also display repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. They may also have intellectual disabilities or be intelligent in a specific sphere.

Asperger's Syndrome

Children with AS have normal to above-average intelligence. For instance, they may excel in certain areas, such as art, mathematics, or science. They do not have severe language and communication challenges but may struggle with social interaction. These children also display repetitive behaviors.

Rett Syndrome

It is usually classified as a separate genetic disorder. Rett syndrome shares certain similarities with autism. Medical practitioners often classify it as part of the broader autism spectrum. It mainly affects girls and causes severe physical and cognitive impairments.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

The child doesn't fully meet the criteria for classic autism or Asperger's syndrome. However, he or she still shows some autistic behaviors.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD)

This is a rare condition in children that may develop over a specific period of time. Thereafter, the child shall lose previously acquired skills, such as a language, a motor skill, or social abilities. The condition is often considered a severe form of autism.

Non-Specific Autism Spectrum Disorder

The diagnosis is made when an individual shows symptoms that do not fit into any of the categories mentioned above.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) involves a detailed assessment conducted by healthcare professionals and specialists. The process comprises many steps and assessments, which are as follows:

Developmental Screening

It is the first step in ASD diagnosis during regular pediatric check-ups. Standardized screening tools may be used to assess the developmental milestones of a child. They will identify any potential red flags. Further evaluation will depend on the results of this assessment.

Comprehensive Evaluation

A team of professionals (pediatrician, child psychologist, speech-language pathologist, and occupational therapist) will conduct the following evaluation:

1. Parent Interviews

The team will get detailed information from parents or caregivers about the child's developmental history, behavior, and any concerns related to it.

2. Observations

The professionals will assess the child's behavior and interactions with others. These children are assessed in structured and unstructured settings.

Standardized Assessment Tools

These tools are used to evaluate communication skills, social interaction, and behavior.

Medical Evaluation

This is done to rule out other possible medical conditions that may be similar to ASD symptoms.

Tips for Parents

Parents play a crucial role in getting their child treated for ASD. It is advised that parents should do the following to ensure the successful treatment and overall wellbeing of their child:

Seek early intervention

It is important to start therapies as soon as the symptoms are observed. Commonly prescribed therapies include speech therapy, occupational therapy, and applied behavior analysis (ABA).

Educate

Parents should be open to learning about autism and its characteristics. They should understand the strengths and challenges of their child to give appropriate support.

Network

Establishing connections with other parents of children with ASD will help; therefore, joining support groups and online communities may help to an extent. Such groups are known for sharing experiences and advice with others facing similar challenges. The process can be reassuring and informative.

Create a supportive environment

It is proven that children with ASD thrive in structured and predictable environments. Parents should establish daily routines and visual schedules as recommended by therapists to help the child understand what to expect.

Encourage Communication

Communication challenges for children with ASD can be overwhelming. Encourage communication using a technique most appropriate for your child.

Exercise Patience

Practice patience and let the child take the time they need to express themselves or accomplish assigned tasks.

Set realistic goals

Work with a therapist and set achievable goals for the development of your child. Do not forget to celebrate small successes and progress.

Practice Self-Care

It is not easy to care for a child with ASD. Parents must focus on their own physical and emotional well-being to be able to support their child. Seek support or additional care when needed.

Love Unconditionally

Your child is unique; celebrate them, love them, and allow them to grow into a beautiful human being.

Therapy and Treatment for Autism in Delhi

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is treated by therapy and a combination of therapies and treatment procedures aimed at supporting individuals with ASD, thereby developing skills important for leading a comfortable life, managing challenges, and improving the quality of life. Therapies and interventions are recommended after assessing a child’s unique needs and strengths. Here are some of the most common therapies and treatments for ASD:

Early Intervention

This is the most important part of a child’s therapy. Early intervention (speech therapy, occupational therapy, and behavior therapy) should ideally start in early childhood. Professionals design these to specifically address developmental delays and challenges once they are recognized.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

It is a proven and evidence-based therapy for children with ASD. The major emphasis is on teaching and reinforcing positive behaviors. The therapist also aims at reducing challenging behaviors and improving daily living skills, communication, and social skills.

Speech and language therapy

This is the most important and integral part of ASD treatment, as many children with ASD face challenges with communication. Speech and language therapy are very helpful in improving language comprehension, speech articulation, and expressive communication skills. Some of the alternative communication approaches include sign language or augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices.

Occupational Therapy

The therapy helps children learn essential daily living skills, fine and gross motor skills, and sensory integration. OT will also address sensory sensitivities that support functional independence.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The therapy is very beneficial for individuals with ASD who experience symptoms such as emotional challenges, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, etc. It is helpful in helping children recognize and manage their thoughts and emotions.

Social skills training

This is an important part of therapy for ASD, which is aimed at teaching appropriate social behaviors to children, including understanding social cues, making eye contact, and taking turns.

Developmental and relationship-based therapies

Children are given therapies such as the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). Many therapists also prescribe the floortime approach to build emotional connections and relationships. Play-based interactions are integrated into the plans to support the child’s social and communication skills.

Parent Training

Special training programs are given to parents and caregivers, which include strategies and techniques that, if properly applied, would help in a child's development. Parents can help children tackle challenging behaviors at home.

Educational Support

Specialized educational programs are planned for children with ASD that are customized as per their conditions, symptoms, and needs. Individualized education plans (IEPs) are integrated into the programs for learning and development.

Medication

The child may be prescribed certain medications under the careful monitoring of parents to handle symptoms or co-occurring conditions, such as aggression, anxiety, or ADHD.

At Child Therapy Needs, things are made to provide comprehensive treatment for autism under the guidance of experienced professionals who are in turn supported by a dedicated team of well-trained neurologist and development pediatrician holding many years of experience in managing the condition and tailoring therapies as per the child’s needs.

Why Parents Prefer Child Therapy Needs for their Autistic Child?

  • Affected children are provided with a safe and supportive environment.
  • Timely assistance is needed to help children develop social and communication skills for a better future.
  • Experienced team of specialists to help children develop self-care skills.
  • Professional assistance to children to help them with behavioral management and self-regulation skills.
  • Plenty of opportunities are given to affected children to showcase their talent, which would eventually curtail the stress and boost confidence.
  • Last but not least, professional counseling services are provided to the parents of affected children with autism to help them get by in life.

FAQs

I am worried about the future of my Autistic child?

We do understand your concern and make it absolutely crystal clear that it is impossible to predict the exact development of a child with autism, but those who are administered the necessary treatment and therapies on time will learn and improve their skills gradually. Not to mention, tremendous progress has been made by the medical sciences to fork out multiple treatment options to help children manage autism.

Is Autism Curable?

No. Autism cannot be cured. However, early diagnosis and professional intervention are helpful in the development of the necessary skills to ensure a fulfilling, productive, and satisfying life.

Is Autism a disability?

Clinically, autism is referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is characterized as a neurological developmental difference that may affect one’s life significantly. Some people with autism may also have co-conditions, such as different types of disabilities.

Is Autism hereditary?

According to research, it is revealed that the chances of an individual having autism increase if anyone in his or her family has autism, which also depends on whether or not the cause of that autism is genetic.

Will autistic kids be able to go to normal school?

Autism can be categorized into a broad range of Every child with autism may not qualify to attend regular school, which also depends on the severity of the condition and the treatment offered to the child. There are many instances where children with autism have attended regular schools with correct assistance and timely intervention aid.

Will my child ever talk properly?

We wouldn’t guarantee specific outcomes from treatment procedures. However, most children with autism are seeing significant progress in communication skills due to our therapies and treatment.

What is ideal treatment duration?

The overall duration of treatment may vary from patient to patient. Other factors, such as the severity of symptoms and the patient’s response to treatment, also determine the treatment duration. In general, patients are advised to take at least 18–24 months of treatment for the best results.

Aastha Bhatia

Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist

10 Years of Experience

Mon – Sat : 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
13/22, 1st Floor, Shastri Nagar, Geeta Colony, Delhi, 110031

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