Autism: What causes it, and can it be cured?
Autism is a disorder that is affecting more and more children. But many autistic children have been able to lead normal lives.
Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the early stages of development of a child, mostly in the first three years of development. It is a neurological disorder that affects the proper functioning of the brain and affects the development of the social and communication skills of the individual.
Early diagnosis of autism is most important for the treatment of this disorder. However, there is no blood or medical test available which will help in the diagnosis of autism. Generally, it is delay in the development of language skills or lack of appropriate social development that causes parents or teachers to seek a medical evaluation. There are no racial or ethnic specifications for the occurrence of this disorder, although boys are three or four times more likely to have autism.
Autism is seen to affect each individual in different levels and so is considered a spectrum disorder. Generally, autism is seen to affect the verbal and non-verbal communication skills, leisure activities, and the all-round social interactions of the individual.
There is no standard treatment for the cure of autism. Different medical professionals have different philosophies and practices for treating autistic individuals. The results of the treatment of autism will also vary from individual to individual. However, autism cannot be completely cured; there can only be improvements in the abilities of the autistic person. Autistic children are seen to benefit greatly from treatment approaches that include special education and behavioral management.
An important strategy in the treatment of autism is to keep the diet of the autistic children gluten- and casein-free. A gluten- and casein-free autism diet is seen to produce a marked level of improvement in autistic children. This is because in their body system there is incomplete breakdown of the peptides in the food substances containing gluten and casein. This leads to an increased absorption of peptides causing disruption in the biochemical and neuroregulatory processes in the brain. Adding vitamin B6 and B12 to the diet is beneficial to the treatment of autism as it improves digestion, symptoms of allergy, and sociability in children.
Despite one child in every thousand being affected by this illness, the awareness and the number of support groups for this illness is negligible. Efforts are being undertaken to create an increased awareness and to generate funds to support research and treatment of autism.
Autism awareness bracelets and ribbons help spread awareness about this disorder. The sale of these bracelets supports many autism research foundations and also provides financial assistance to many parents with autistic children.
‘Autism walk’ is another novel fundraising effort for the support of those suffering from autism. The money generated from registration of the ‘Autism walk’ events is used to provide financial support to the parents of autistic children, or to establish support groups to facilitate their treatment.