What Is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a medical term that describes a group of neurodevelopmental conditions. Autistic children may not reach the developmental milestones their peers might have already reached, and may also demonstrate the loss of developed social or language skills. Autistic children may also engage in repetitive behaviors and have difficulty sleeping.

What Are The Symptoms Of Autism?

Though symptoms may appear early or later, but usually become evident during early childhood, between ages 12 and 24 months.

Unusual eye contact.
Lack of meaningful speech.
Marked physical overactivity.
Aggressive or self-injurious behaviors.
Marked delay in communication or social interaction.
Restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior or activities like rocking, flapping their arms, spinning, or running back and forth, lining objects, like toys, up in strict order, and getting upset when that order is disturbed.
Getting upset over minor changes.
Unusual reactions to sensory input, like smell, sound, and taste.
Exceptional abilities, like memory capabilities and musical talent.
Delayed movement, language, or cognitive skills.
Gastrointestinal symptoms, like constipation or diarrhea.
Unusual levels of fear.
Unexpected emotional reactions
Unusual eating habits.
Unusual sleep patterns.

What Are The Causes Of Autism?

The cause of ASD is unknown some suspected risk factors for ASD include:

Certain genetic mutations.
Being born to older parents.
Exposure to environmental toxins.
Exposure to heavy metals.
Low weight during birth.
Metabolic imbalances.
Maternal history of viral infection.
Fetal exposure to the medications like thalidomide.


Autism is a brain disorder characterized by abnormalities in relating and communicating with others. There is an increased presence of increased brain volume and in some cases, there is an altered grey/white matter ratio.

Diagnosis Of Autism.

Developmental screenings:

Children undergo ASD screening at ages 18 and 24 months, as it can help identify the early symptoms of ASD in children. Early diagnosis is very important to gain more benefits.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:

The diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is recommended by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM-5 recognizes two broad criteria for the diagnosis of autism:

Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction
Restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interest, or activities.

These symptoms often appear in the early stages of life and can also disrupt the child's social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Treatment Of Autism.

Medication: Muscle relaxants, antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, etc.

NOTE: Medication should not be taken without the doctor's prescription.

What Is The Physiotherapy Treatment For Autism?

Routine Training:

In early years the child is taught how to walk safely, how to use stairs, also guided on having a routine, navigating physical boundaries, and interacting with their peers in play. The child is also helped to handle challenges such as crowded hallways, and lunchrooms, and promote skills like self-control, taking turns, etc. The physiotherapist may even teach them to copy the movement of other children, develop coordination, and even take part in physical education.

Fine motor skill Training:

Fine motor skills involve the use of small muscles i.e. muscles in the fingers and hands. These skills enable the child to do everyday tasks like buttoning a coat and using utensils, and school-based skills, like holding a pencil and using scissors.

Physical and motor skill Training:

The physiotherapist stimulates the functional motor skills to help the child compensate for motor skills disturbances. These include age-appropriate exercises like clapping hands, jumping, skipping, throwing, hopping, kicking, and catching the ball.

Strengthening Exercises:

Strengthening exercises have been successful in improving and decreasing the severity level of weak muscles which results in many other consequences when the child grows up if left untreated.

Aquatic exercises:

The temperature and pressure of the water pressing against the body can soothe an autistic child. Swimming and other activities in water can serve as exercise. These activities can also act as sensory play activities, which can help autistic people who may have trouble processing signals from their senses.

Locomotor and Balance Training:

For balance training simple standing, standing on one leg with eyes open and then with closed eyes can be recommended. For locomotor training running, jumping, and walking can be practiced.


Exergaming is used for the program which includes exercising and gaming, helping the child to improve function, working memory, motor strength, and more.

Family Education.

Parents and the members can learn how to interact and play with their children to promote social interaction skills, manage problem behaviors, and teach daily living skills and communication.

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