The autistic disorder is usually diagnosed during childhood, especially around the age of 3-4 when parents notice an abnormal behavior in their children. Some children however can remain undiagnosed until the age of 12 and the medical treatment is mostly hard to begin at this age. Many autistic children are only diagnosed after going to school as they show their poor social skills or a challenging behavior. Especially patients with the milder form called Asperger syndrome can remain undiagnosed until later opportunities occur.
No exact method of autism diagnose is known. Still, doctors must firstly eliminate other conditions by performing hearing and blood tests. Autism is diagnosed by the close observation of the behavior, social skills and ability to communicate. Parents and specialists must work together to identify a possible autistic disorder. If suspicion of autism persists, the child will be seen by a group of specialists such as a pediatrician, a child psycho loge and psychiatrist, a speech therapist and an educational expert. Every autistic child must have his personal caretaker which will closely observe the patient’s assessment and progresses.
An appropriate treatment for autism includes education, special behavior and speech training and even medications in some cases. Children with autistic disorders require special care in an appropriate school environment or in regular schools with additional help if the symptoms are moderate. The progresses of the patients very much depend on a well organized structure of the classes and classrooms. Schools must also use methods to help the patients find new ways of expressing themselves.
An adequate behavior therapy can only be provided by a clinical psychologist and will help the family to better understand the child’s needs. Some neurovegetative abnormal actions can be controlled by medications. Autistic children have frequent outbursts of aggressiveness, obsessions, hyper agitation and hyperactivity of their behavior. Used for a longer period of time, these drugs can show dangerous side-effects like provoking obsessions and repetitive actions.
Other therapeutic approaches are known, but they are however not approved by medical organizations as their benefits are not been proven. Music therapies can help calming down the patients while symbols and pictures might improve the communication skills. Another unscientifically proved method of treating autism symptoms is the use of the Secretin hormone.
The autistic child requires permanent care and the parent will need another qualified persons to help with the child’s observation. Caretakers of patients with such disorders are also entitled to an allowance for disabilities.