Health Problems in children with Autism
One on 68 children born these days is diagnosed with ASD- autism spectrum disorder. The disorder has an impact on social and developmental skill of the individual and can pose challenges through life.
"The biggest issue with autism still remains at the grassroots level. Patients need social acceptance and intervention at an early stage." says Dr. Ketan Patel, a homoeopath doctor based in Ahmedabad.
Apart from the social interaction and behavioral disorders, ASD can also cause some other health problems. Here is some information about them.
- Sensory problems
Children with autism can also be very sensitive towards their environment. Children with autism can be more aware of sounds, lights, colors, textures than other children and get disturbed due to them. This sensitivity can cause discomforts and anxiety to them whenever they come in contact with the disturbing factors. Sudden noises, touch, change in fabrics, textures can make them unease and result in outbursts.
The reaction to environment may vary from one child to another. Response to weather, climate change, injuries or experiences is also different in children with autism. Some children with autism cannot bear the touch of strangers while others may hardly notice being touched.
- Mental impairments
Autism can also have an impact on the mental abilities of the affected child. Some mental abilities of the affected child can be weakened due to autism while others may still function properly. For example a child with autism may be able to learn visual skills but may score low in language tests during evaluations.
One in every fourth child with autism can experience seizures. These are caused due to abnormal electrical activity in the brain and can result in loss of consciousness, fits, inactivity spells and more such conditions. Medicines can aid in keeping the seizures under control.
- Fragile X syndrome
This is the most common form of mental impairment and is caused due to defect in X chromosome. Around 2-5% of children with autism are found to have the Fragile X syndrome.
- Tuberous Sclerosis
This is a rare condition that may affect children with autism. Tuberous Sclerosis is a genetic condition that causes the growth of tumors in brain and also in other important organs of the body. These tumors are not cancerous and 1-4% percent of people with autism have the condition.
"Children with autism may not be able to talk about their physical health problems due to communication barriers, thereby causing delay in diagnoses. It is important to understand this and pay more attention to their health. says Sangeeta Arun, parent of child with autism."
Apart from these conditions children may also have issues related to metabolism and gut health. We will talk about these in upcoming articles.