Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The most common birth disorders: Autism
What is it?
An inablity, which dates from birth or develops within the first two and half years of life, to develop normal humna relationships, even with parents.
There are great differences among children with autism. Some who are midly affected may exhibit only slight language delays and greater challenges with social interactions. Others who are more severely affected don't smile or respond to parents or anyone else in any way and dislike being picked up or touched. Often there are extreme problems with speaking, stange positions and mannerisms, erratic and inappropriate behaviour and, sometimes self destructiveness. The child may have normal intelligence but appear to be retarded or deaf.
How common is it?
There are an estimated 2 - 6 cases per 1000 babies
What causes it?
Autism has no single cause. Researches have identified a number of genes that play a role in the disorder. In some children environmental factors (including maternal smoking while pregnant) may also play a role. Autiem may also be cuased by a combination of biological factors, including exposure to a virus before birth, a problem with immune system or genetics.
At present there is no cure, but some children have been helped with behaviour modification therapy, stimulation, special training and sometimes drugs.
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