Autism In Children
Autism In Children
“Her little four year old body radiates energy and life, purity and love to those who are near her. Yet beyond the sparkling blue eyes and her angelic face is a mind that is struggling and frustrated – unable to express itself and put into words what she is feeling or thinking.” – From Two Families Struggle with Autism
Autism in children is a neurological disorder, which affects the way in which a child socially interacts and communicates. The word autism is taken from the Greek word “autos” which means self. With this disorder, the child withdraws into himself and shows little or no desire for social interaction, verbal or non-verbal communication, and leisure or play activities. Signs and symptoms of autism normally appear in a child by the age of 3. Statistically, 80% of those who have been diagnosed with autism are boys.
The cause of autism is actually quite unclear. Some believe that it is an inherited genetic disorder; however, researchers do not believe that there is one single cause. Some research has shown that certain situations may actually trigger autism in those who are hereditarily predisposed. Problems in pregnancy, viral infections, exposure to certain environmental chemicals or pollutants, digestive abnormalities or even allergies to certain foods have contributed to the onset of autism.
An alarming possible contributor to autism has been childhood vaccinations. Dr. Mark Geier, a Maryland geneticist and vaccinologist, along with a growing number of scientists, physicians and parents believe the increase in autism during the 1990’s was caused by the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal which was added to vaccines 70 years ago. Bernard Rimland, PhD, Founding Director of the Autism Research Institute and internationally recognized as a leading expert in the field of autism, has publicly stated that he believes current childhood vaccine programs are one of the major causes for the current epidemic of autism. According to Dr. Jane Orient, Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, clinical lecturer in medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Professor of Clinical Medicine at The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, “There has been a frightening increase in cases of autism that has not been explained. There are a number of anecdotal reports from parents that symptoms of autism have appeared close to the time of the MMR vaccine.”
Autism is a condition, which brings much duress to the child and the child’s family as they endeavor to relate to each other. There is a vast network of agencies for those families with autistic children who can help provide valuable information and support as you walk through the many facets of autism. I have listed a few helps which I hope will be of benefit to your family and your autistic child.
What To Look For
- Prefers being alone.
- Socializing with other children is difficult.
- Does not seek social interaction.
- Child sometimes acts deaf, visually impaired or blind.
- Makes little or no eye contact.
- Lack of facial expressions
- Is often not affectionate.
- Resists changes in routine.
- Shows no fear of danger.
- Resists learning.
- Spins objects
- Unusual attachment to objects.
- Unable to initiate and sustain conversation
- Abnormal preoccupation with certain activities
- Language is either delayed or absent in child.Does not respond to social or emotional stimuli.
- Inability to understand people’s feelings and intentions.
- Enjoys methodical and systematic thinking.
- Tantrums which may result from frustration of being able to communicate or understand or as a response to unwanted changes in the environment.
- Has difficulty conveying needs and will use gestures instead of words.
- High tolerance for pain but may be overly sensitive to some lights, odors, sounds and textures.
- Use only natural and environmentally safe personal care and cleaning products in your home.
- Esential fatty acids taken in the form of evening primrose oil, cod liver oil and flax seed are helpful.
- Amino acids such as tryptophan, secretin, and GABA help in complete digestion.
- Chamomile helps to relax the nervous system.
- Gingko Biloba, Vitamin B complex, magnesium and Vitamin are helpful.
Suggested Dietary Changes:
- Eat only unrefined foods, which are free of artificial colors, additives and flavors.
- Avoid sugar, yeast and mold.
- Avoid aspertame
- Avoid MSG
- If child eats mainly wheat and dairy products, try eliminating these products, which have gluten and casein in them.