For a child with Autism, life is invariably different. Imagine residing in the world where nothing makes sense. Imagine a world devoid of purpose. Imagine the world where the sun is silent, the winds soundless and the air devoid of life. This is exactly how an autistic child feels.
You might find it impossible to relate to a child that has autism. You are not the only one. But before you can understand an autistic child, you need to understand what autism itself means.
Autistic Spectral Disorder, or more popularly termed as autism, is a mental condition, which starts from early childhood and progresses throughout a person’s life.
The main symptom of autism is a great difficulty in communicating and forming words with other people. In short, Autism affects how people make sense of the world.
If this is the first time you are reading about autism spectral disorder, then you may be shocked to know that there are far more autistic children out there than you could ever fathom. According to researches in the United States of America alone, one in forty-two boys and one in eighty-nine girls suffer from Autism.
There are around seven hundred thousand people in the United Kingdom living with Autism.
Moreover, there are several ongoing research in understanding the nature and causes of this disease. However, there has been very little progress in developing a cure. Autism is everywhere. It resides in every corner of the world. Be it in the cold lands of Europe or the hot terrains of Africa. It is not gender or culture specific.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms An Autistic Child Exhibits?
- Social Communication and interaction
- The child shows little to no care for others. He/she is apathetic and has extreme difficulty in social-emotional reciprocity like smiling and pointing.
- An autistic child does not understand nonverbal communications such as nodding, winking and any other gesture.
- When speaking with someone, it is essential to maintain eye contact. An autistic child does not see the significance of this. He/she would rather look elsewhere or stare at nothing in particular rather than maintaining eye contact.
- Most autistic children have delayed speech, known as “alalia”. Speech delay is an interruption in the development or use of the mechanisms that produce speech.
- Behavioral Pattern
- An average autistic child is often aggressive and hostile towards others. With little provocation, an autistic child may act unpredictably violent.
- Unhealthy obsession
- An autistic child has an unhealthy obsession and fixation. He or she might only play with certain toys, wear certain clothes and walk on certain road paths. You might often see an autistic child staring into the distance for a long period of time.
- Weird Erratic Behaviors
- Stereotyped and repetitive speeches are not strange to children suffering from autism. Some of them may exhibit strange movements such as rolling wheels before eyes, flapping hands and toe walking.
- Difficulty In Accepting Changes
- Autistic children may show excessive adherence to patterns and behaviors. They do not like changes no matter how infinitesimal.
How Then Can You Reach Out To An Autistic Child?
If you are perhaps hoping that there is a cure for autism or maybe you could somehow curb the condition, this might be impossible at the moment.
As much as we wish it was true, you can’t just squeeze out the condition from a child. However, there are ways you could help to better improve an autistic child. The most important way is to:
Most parents give up after so many attempts to reach out to their autistic child. They simply believe that the child is too far gone to reach. It is understandable. Though, do not let that discourage you. Make it a task to try harder every time an autistic child shrugs you off or ignores you.
At the moment, autism has no cure and one has to come to terms with that. An autistic child should be for who he or she is. One must be very patient. Autistic children are quite difficult to get through, but it is not impossible to understand and relate to them. With love and patience, an autistic child could learn to perceive the world the same way as others do.