Autism: Unwarranted and Entirely Uncalled For Stigma


Autism is a disease. However, autistics are not treated as are those with physical illnesses. Autism still carries the social stigma. It must change.

Autism and related developmental disorders, such as Asperger’s Syndrome, which are collectively called Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), is a developmental disorder that usually shows up in the first three years of life. Autism is a condition that affects both children and adults. Originally detected in 1943, autism used to be a rare occurrence till a decade ago. But the fast rise in its incidence is really an ominous portent for the future. According to the latest 10 millions of children have been diagnosed as autistic in India.

About four times more common in boys than in girls, autism is a life-long brain disability that seriously affects many areas of development.

Those suffering from autism have serious problems with both speech and nonverbal communication. They may also find themselves in a position not to interact socially. However, there is no cause for worry. Speech therapy will stand you I good stead if you are suffering from autism. The central part of treatment for autism, speech therapy has the potential of addressing a wide range of communication disorders for autistic persons. Several scientific studies have demonstrated that speech therapy has proved successful in improving the communication skills of people with autism.

Speech-language pathologists are therapists who specialize in rehabilitating persons with language problems and speech disorders. The therapists work closely with the autism treatment team. They help in the early screening and detection of the affected person.

To find out the appropriateness of the kind of speech language intervention, assessment is the first step a speech therapist has to take. Once the diagnosis of autism has been made, speech therapists assess the ways to treat communication disorder thereby enhancing the quality of the sufferer’s life. These assessments are used to implement the best course of therapy possible. All this amounts to the necessity of comfortable working by a Speech and Language Therapist in a highly structured team as well as independently.

Throughout therapy, the speech-language pathologist also works closely with a range of different health professionals including physicians, audiologists, psychologists, social workers, teachers, and occupational therapists. The best approaches to speech therapy include components of early diagnosis and individualized treatment. However, family involvement is an absolute must for the treatment of autism .

What are the benefits of speech therapy for autism?

Speech therapy can improve overall communication. This makes it possible for people with autism to improve their ability to form relationships and function in day-to-day life.
Speech therapy can help the person with autism in a number of ways. The speech therapist helps the sufferer by articulating words well , communicating both verbally and nonverbally, developing conversational skills, exchanging ideas and much more.

Diagnosis of Autism

What actually causes autismIt is still in the realm of debate.

Some principal symptoms of Autism are failure to carry a conversation, inability to develop appropriate relationships, engagement in repetitive behaviors, activities and interests as well as rigid adherence to routines and rituals. There is also a strong possibility that some people with autism may also experience hypersensitivity in their senses of taste, touch, smell and hearing.

Treatment for Autism

What is of utmost importance in the treatment of Autism is the timely intervention. Once the diagnosis has been made, the doctors, medical health experts and parents should discuss the future course of action. In a majority of cases, it is advisable that parents should be encouraged to take care of the children at home.
Each autistic’s difficulties are different. Most treatment plans include structured, behaviorally-based programs that include giving clear instructions to the autistic child to perform specific behaviors, praising and rewarding for performing those behaviors. In many cases speech therapy is also a viable option and sometimes it is also advisable to devise special education plans. Medication is only recommended when the autistic sufferer shows signs of self-injurious behaviors such as head banging.
Speech therapy offers a new hope for those with speech disorders. IT has been proven to benefit the affected persons by assessing speech and language problems (dysphasia) and helps them communicate, improve communication in everyday activities.

Managing To Live With Autism

It can be destructive to many parents when they come to know that their children have autism. The reason is not far to seek. They have to grapple with challenges including lack of awareness, a dearth of treatments and social stigma.

The loss of the future they had hoped for their child is indeed devastating. However everything is not lost. It is time for them to motivate themselves to find effective help for raising their children with autism who need constant support, attention and patience, and treatment. Though sufferers are unable to have effective communication or interaction with others, there is much that well-wishers of the affected children can do that will enhance the chances of success of treatment for Autism

There are many organizations in India to offer further information on autism and communication.