What is Autism?
Every individual with autism is just that; individual and unlike any other. In our experience at asktoks.com, people with autism are talented, loving, unique, blessed, intelligent, sensitive, happy, exceptional and of course extremely interesting.
You should also know that, the umbrella term Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) covers conditions such as autism, childhood disintegrative disorder and Asperger Syndrome. ASD is a developmental disorder with onset in infancy.
Like other developmental disorders, it is characterised by impairment in functions related to the central nervous system which can be characterised in three main ways.
One of the ways autism affects people is in the way the person is able to relate to, or interact with other people. To different degrees, some people with autism, may have difficulty understanding others. For example, for children this can translate to difficulty making eye-contact or playing with other children the way they want to play. While for some adults with autism, it can mean difficulty being sociable or understanding feelings.
Another way autism can affect an individual is in the person’s ability to develop language and communication skills. For some people with autism, casual conversation can be uninteresting and sometimes quite difficult, and for others being able to explain what they need or want can also be quite difficult.
A third major symptom of autism is shown in the person’s interests and mannerisms. Some people with autism will experience limited interests or restrictive behaviours.
Interventions that address these areas help improve behaviour and quality of life.
There is much more to autism than these three characteristics, it is important to remember that autism is a spectrum, which means people are affected in different ways and to different degrees. Some individuals with ASDs have varying degrees of abilities that could potentially lead to independent and productive life with varying levels of support. Others may be more severely affected and require life-long care and support.
You cannot always tell that a child has an ASD just by looking at them.
Be autism aware because changing perceptions starts with your education.
If you have any concerns about your child’s development or are simply curious about autism spectrum disorders, speak up now in confidence, help is available. Contact us here
What should I do next?
You are already on the right track; looking for information online and from friends, doing your research is a good place to start.
Get some professional advice. Find out where you can do the necessary assessments that will determine further course of action and a potential treatment plan. There are centers, clinics, organisations like asktoks.com and even some schools that can provide comprehensive evaluations of your child’s needs.
Investigate treatment options and begin treatment. A good program should focus on increasing behaviours your child may not yet be exhibiting, these can include language and communication behaviour, academic skill and certain social skills. It will also aim to reduce any unwanted behaviour your child may be expressing, such as excessive tantrums and stereotypical behaviour.
Contact us now to talk to someone about what to do next and how we can provide you with behaviour treatment services.
asktoks.com offers an interdisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders.
Our approach is characterised by a high degree of collaboration and communication among health and educational professionals.
If you are seeking a diagnosis for your child or simply want some questions answered, please Contact us today.
Contrary to popular thought, affordable treatment services are available in Nigeria. Although somewhat limited, there are viable options for educating your child at home, without the need to travel abroad.
At asktoks.com we develop and implement effective behaviour interventions using the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Our goal is to help your child develop the skills they need to achieve their full potential, to place your child in an inclusive environment with the support they need to thrive and to improve every aspect of your child’s quality of life.
More about ABA
ABA is as science of behaviour that enables us to think positively about developmental disorders, find opportunities for learning and build on strengths. It is a widely-researched, evidence-based intervention used to treat mental and developmental disorders like autism spectrum disorders, and other non-diagnosed behavioural difficulties.
Our behaviour analyst is available to talk to you more about starting an ABA program for your child. Go ahead, give us a call.
Here are some of the other developmental disorders we see a lot
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is common in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders but can also be diagnosed in isolation. At asktoks.com we recognise multiple intelligences in all children and value an individual’s potential to have musical intelligence (ability to skilfully perform, compose and appreciate music), interpersonal intelligence (ability to establish rapport others and make friends easily) as well as kinesthetic intelligence (ability to use the body to skilfully convey ideas and feelings) despite an ADHD diagnosis.
ADHD can be characterised by a difficulty with staying attentive to a task, difficulty with being organised. It can also be characterised by frequent over-activity and impulsiveness, or a combination of these symptoms.
For these symptoms to be diagnosed as ADHD, they must be out of the normal range for the child's age and development. Symptoms would typically have been present from an early age (before about 12), they would cause observable difficulty in school or at work as well as at home. Sometimes symptoms can also lead to difficulty maintaining interpersonal relationships.
ADHD is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often persists into adulthood. Diagnosis can be made reliably using well-tested diagnostic interview methods. Treatment may include medical, educational, behavioural, and/or psychological interventions. ADHD is a lifelong disorder that can negatively impair many aspects of daily life if not treated, however treatment is available and many people with ADHD live healthy and productive lives. Get more information about ADHD here
If you think you may have ADHD or know someone who does, please contact us here for more information
Cerebral palsy is a disorder caused by damage to the brain that occurs before, during, or shortly following birth. It affects body movement and muscle coordination.
Individuals with cerebral palsy may also experience seizures, abnormal speech, hearing and visual impairments, and intellectual impairment. Children with cerebral palsy may not be able to walk, talk, eat, or play in the same ways as others. Like other developmental disorders, the symptoms of cerebral palsy can either be milder (low dependency) or more severe (high or total dependency).
Although cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition, training and therapy can help improve functioning. Get more information about Cerebral Palsy and treatment in Nigeria from Benola
Down Syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality that changes the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with the syndrome.
Mild to severe intellectual disability can be present among those affected. Speech and language development may also be delayed. The diagnosis is usually suspected at birth due to the presence of physical characteristics such as a large tongue, heart problems, poor muscle tone, and flat facial features. The diagnosis is confirmed through chromosomal testing. The disorder is associated with a lifelong disability but can be treated through a variety of appropriate educational and behavioural interventions in addition to occupational therapies, speech and language therapy.
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition, difficulties with spelling and decoding of written words.
The symptoms can also translate to impairments in short-term memory, difficulty with math or even co-ordination. It is important to remember that dyslexia can be mild or severe, affecting each person differently and amidst the symptoms of dyslexia, you can find a person with strengths in numerous other areas.
To find out more about dyslexia and treatment in Nigeria, visit Dyslexia Nigeria