COMPLICATIONS OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER – INTRODUCTION
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder of the brain that starts within the first few years of life. In the majority of cases, it is not diagnosed before the age of three.
ASD can affect one’s communication skills and even social skills to some extent. The magnitude of effect it causes depends on where the autism lies on the spectrum of severity. It can range from mild cases such as Asperger’s syndrome to severe. Those who have mild form are usually able to lead a normal life and still be productive to society. Those with more severe forms will need continuous care and support for their whole lives.
ASD is difficult to handle both for the patient and caregivers. Sometimes’ ASD is accompanied by other disorders and problems. These extra disorders and their complications can make ASD more difficult to manage.
COMPLICATIONS OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
Those with ASD usually experience sensory problems, seizures, mental health problems, or other complications.
Problems with sensation are one of the complications of autism. You may experience abnormal sensitivity to sensory input if you have ASD. Common things like loud noises or bright lights can make you emotionally uncomfortable. On the other hand, you may be unresponsive to some sensations such as extreme heat, cold, or pain.
Seizures are common occurrences in those with ASD. Seizures are complications of autism. They usually start during childhood or adolescence.
Mental health problems
Some level of mental impairment is associated with ASD. Children who suffer from fragile X syndrome are more likely to come down with ASD. Fragile X syndrome occurs when there is a defect on the X chromosome. It frequently causes mental impairment, especially in boys.
A condition known as Tuberous sclerosis is a rarely occurring disorder that causes the growth of benign tumors in the organs of the body, including the brain. The relationship between tuberous sclerosis and ASD isn’t clearly understood but the rates of ASD are greater in children with tuberous sclerosis than those without tuberous sclerosis, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tumors are serious complications of autism.
ASD can also be associated with aggressive behavior, abnormal sleep habits, and problems with digestion.
DIFFICULTIES FACED BY CARETAKERS
Ensure to take good care of yourself if you are a caregiver to a child or an adult with ASD. This is because many caregivers get extremely stressed and lack enough sleep and this can interfere with the care given to these patients. When you care for yourself by eating healthy, staying hydrated, sleeping adequately and exercising, you will be able to take good care of the ASD patient.
As part of the caregiving process, be open to asking for help and accepting it when needed. Speak to your doctor if it seems difficult to cope with the demands of your patient as they may offer strategies or the means to assist you in coping.
You’ve learned the complications of autism. Many children will grow up to lead independent and productive lives if they are given adequate and prompt treatment. Programs that offer early intervention will assist in the management of the symptoms and complications experienced and will further help to build a better future for people with ASD. Speak to your doctor if you suspect that your child has ASD.