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HomeLatest NewsHow can parents understand that their child is autistic? - Rossiyskaya...

How can parents understand that their child is autistic? – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: July 13, 2024 Time: 19:19:09

Just ten or fifteen years ago, only doctors and speech therapists knew about autism. Now ask any parent, almost everyone is familiar with this word. How often are children diagnosed with autism and who is more likely to have it: boys or girls?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: International statistics show that autism is more common in boys than girls, but the gap is getting smaller. Before it was 4 to 1, now it is 3.5 to 1. Experts attribute this to the criteria for evaluating autism being directed more toward boys than girls. The female phenotype of autism is more difficult to recognize, especially when it comes to milder forms of the disorder. Girls and women most often use the so-called masking – a special form of behavior in which a person with autism hides his or her autistic traits in order to appear as normal and normal as possible. Women, also for genetic reasons, are more receptive to cues and more easily learn behaviors that are considered more socially acceptable.

In other words, the same processes occur in the brains of men and women, they just adapt better?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: Yes, girls have better gender socialization, they hear more often: “You are a girl, you should be careful, communicate, respond when spoken to.” Girls learn this form of behavior earlier: smiling, answering questions when they talk to you…

At what age can you accurately determine whether a child has autism or not?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: The diagnosis of autism can be made from 18 months, this is a milestone. Although if the child does not have serious symptoms and has already learned to use the mask well, this will not be easy. But a thorough and careful conversation with the parents and observation of the child can answer many questions.

What do we know about the causes of autism? Is the disorder inherited?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: These questions interest all scientists in the world. Autism, as part of neurological and most psychiatric disorders, does not have a single genetic pathology. We cannot say, like in somatic medicine, that there are disorders in this gene and in this chromosome, then you have such a disorder… Now a complete database has been created where, as we study, genes associated with the autism. There are about 1,000 of them, making autism an early-onset polygenic neurodevelopmental disorder that can manifest as a result of combinations of thousands of genes. Therefore, unfortunately there is no single reason. But if we look at the processes that occur in the brain, there are several theories. One of them is that the differentiation of neural networks occurs incorrectly. As we grow, neural networks rebuild. But in people with ASD they do not adapt very well. All this is most often formed at the embryonic level, right in the embryo. When a child is born, the brain of a person with ASD has already formed, but we will only see this after a year and a half.

And we don’t know the reasons why these thousand genes suddenly start to interact?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: We don’t know. No one can yet say who got which genes and how they were activated. Therefore, we cannot say that if the mother or father had autism, then the child will also have it. But the probability increases greatly if there is someone with autism in the family.

Autistic people are capable of establishing an emotional bond; Can they, for example, fall in love?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: People with autism are very different, it is a spectrum of disorders. And there are many more people like this than we think. For some of them, this does not prevent them from starting families and having children at all. But we will never guess the severity of autism and its compatibility with mental disorders. According to modern Western research, one-third of people with autism are believed to have intellectual disabilities. The rest have a normal or high IQ.

Does autism have comorbidities that always appear?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: Comorbidity (compatibility with other disorders) is believed to be high: up to 80 percent. The reasons are also genetic. But I have met people with autism who currently have no other disorders and are quite adjusted. Everything is very individual.

In other words, are there autistic people who can study well in a normal school, pass the Unified State Exam and enter a university?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: Yes. Autism is a disorder with a wide variety of manifestations, so experts divide patients with autism into three levels of support. The first is the need for support, the second is the need for significant support, the third is the need for very significant support. Difficult children are often the third level of support, perhaps even boarding school. Secondly, these people need help from social funds. The first is the minimum degree of support, these people must be taught to rest, to remove their masks… And there are many of these, from the first level. Inclusion, in my opinion, is not bad; gives children with autism a chance to adjust. It is a myth that people with autism are not interested in socializing. There are those who really want to communicate, but don’t know how to do it. And if such a child grows up among children who can communicate with him, it is very good. It is only important for children to know how to communicate with such a child so that it does not turn into alienation and bullying. I had patients who said that when they were children they sat in the schoolyard, they didn’t communicate with anyone, they didn’t talk, but they watched how others did.

Should we also teach how to care for and build relationships with the opposite sex?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: It depends on the degree of preservation of intelligence. Many people really benefit from observation. There are autistic people who get married. If we talk about the first or second degree of support, this is more likely.

Where can people with autism work?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: People with a second degree of support, for example, in workshops of various foundations, can be programmers. People with a first degree work in completely different fields. Among them are famous people: writers, doctors, journalists, actors… You won’t believe how many people in my field I have diagnosed and diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This does not prevent them from being successful in their profession; They simply, for example, have fewer clients and tire of communication more quickly.

And at the same time they realize that something is wrong with them?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: Recently, knowledge about autism has expanded a lot and these people already understand what is happening to them. They say, “Yes. I never liked being touched.” Or “I didn’t always understand what they wanted from me, and after a while it turned out that they were flirting with me, but I didn’t notice the hints.” “A person is talking to me, but I don’t really understand what he needs. My friends later said: you didn’t understand that I was irritated.” These people do not always read non-verbal cues well, they also have high tactile sensitivity, intolerance to loud sounds, intolerance to tactile sensations of food, and can only eat certain foods.

Wait, do they find the food tasteless or do they just not want to chew it?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: They may not like the texture, it causes sensory overload. Patients often tell me that they cannot eat rice or meat with sauce. They eat meat and rice separately, but the sauce is removed. If it reaches rice, the brain interprets the information as the appearance of a third flavor. But it is incomprehensible, it must be avoided.

Are there anxiety disorders in autism?

Anastasia Afanasyeva: Of course, I was referring to comorbidity and compatibility. Autism is often accompanied by mental health disorders, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders and phobias. Its frequency of distribution in the population of people with ASD is much higher than in normal and normotypical people.

What are the most obvious signs of autism that tell parents something is wrong with their child?

Anastasia Afanasyeva:

High sensitivity to the most common, at first glance, things: the child cannot wear certain clothes, eat some food, reacts sharply to sound, light and each time this leads to scandals. The child has little need to communicate with other children. . They take a child to a children’s party, all the children run and play. They communicate and he sits separately in a corner and mind his own business. The child tries to communicate with children or adults, but is always out of place. He doesn’t understand why people cry when they are sad or laugh at something. If a child has reduced sensitivity, and this occurs in children with ASD, he can be seriously injured and not realize it.

What some abbreviations mean

BPD – borderline personality disorder,

ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,

ASD – autism spectrum disorder,

CPTSD – complex post-traumatic stress disorder,

BAD: Bipolar affective disorder.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.
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