Autism is a complex neurological disorder detected in children in their initial three years of life, which is result of impaired functioning of the brain, expressing itself in the form of inability for social and communication skills, impaired intellectual faculty and hence affecting the development of the child. The exact cause behind autism is not yet fully understood.
Estimated 1.5 million American children and adults, over 1.7million children in India and about 0.2% of the world population is affected by this disorder, affecting all races almost equally.
There are structural and functional changes in the brain in the patients with autism. However, the exact cause for these changes are not fully understood. Some of the triggering factors considered responsible for Autism are: – Genetic predisposition – Exposure to environmental chemicals – Intake of some drugs, medicines during pregnancy – Metabolic imbalance – Vaccinations.
Autism can present with a wide spectrum of symptoms, also in varied severity, mild, moderate to severe. The symptoms may present in different combinations. The major symptoms relate with: – Marked deficits in communication and social interaction – Language impairment – Preoccupation with fantasy – Abnormal behavior, such as repetitive acts and excessive possessiveness to certain objects such as car, doll, keys – Intellectual impairment The common end symptoms could be some or many of the following: – Annoying obstinacy in behavior – Poor verbal expression, uses gesture to point out for his needs – Repeating words or phrases – Laughing, crying without apparent cause – Prefers solitude – Throws Tantrums – Difficulty in social interaction with his age or elders – No eye contact while communication – Unresponsive teaching – Failure to perceive fears of danger, leading to jumping from high place, playing with pointed objects – physical hyper-activity or under-activity – Underdeveloped fine motor skills – Not responsive to verbal instructions with normal hearing – Spinning objects – Inappropriate possessiveness to objects – Over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain – Screaming and shouting out of proportion – Repeats the same words (echolalia) It may be noted that autism affects the developmental of the intellectual faculties. The autistic children are able to express love and affection and also can respond to love. Diagnosis of Autism: There are no laboratory tests for autism. The diagnosis is arrived at by clinical evaluation and a detail developmental case history of the child. Psychological evaluation may be carried out by a professional with expertise in handing such cases. There are several Autism screening tests to conclude the diagnosis. Diet: The theory is that some people with autism cannot properly digest gluten and casein, which form substances that act like opiates in their bodies. This “drug” substance alters the person’s behavior, perceptions, and responses to his environment, according to this theory. Research in the U.S. and Europe has found substances with opiate activity in the urine of a significant number of children with autism. Some parents, doctors and researchers say that children have shown mild to dramatic improvements in speech and/or behavior after a gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet. Gluten and gluten-like proteins are found in wheat and other grains, including oats, rye, barley, bulgar, durum, kamut and spelt, and foods made from those grains. They are also found in food starches, semolina, couscous, malt, some vinegars, soy sauce, flavorings, artificial colors and hydrolyzed vegetable proteins. Casein is a protein found in milk and products containing milk, such as cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, whey and even some brands of margarine. It also may be added to non-milk products such as soy cheese and hot dogs in the form of caseinate. Foods that CAN be eaten on a gluten-free, casein-free diet include rice, quinoa, amaranth, potato, buckwheat flour, soy, corn, fruits, vegetables, beans, tapioca, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, teff, nuts, eggs, and sorghum, among others.
The homeopathic approach to handling chronic disorders being totalistic and aiming at treating the genetic tendencies with a well strategic management, offers effective treatment for autism and related disorders. The homoeopathic case evaluation of the child with autism incorporates the detail study of the family history of serious diseases, which are known to form the genetic ground for autism. The case analysis also takes into account impaired functions in terms of behavior, social skills, communication, speech, tantrums, etc.