This article is based on strong theoretical, logical and professional foundation of the Author. Autism has been a special area of concern for many since Dr. Leo Kanner a Psychiatrist at John’s Hopkins University, who wrote the first paper using the term “Autism” in 1943 referring a group of Children who exhibited similar kinds of symptoms related to social, communication and behavioural problems.
Basically the term Autism has been referred to a person exhibiting problems in social abilities and communication. Most of the professionals agree that Autism is a life long developmental disabilities resulting due to gross neurological disorder which affects the functioning of the brain. Prevalence of Autism is said to be one in every 500 people and male female ratio is 4:1. In due course of time based upon the group of symptom exhibited by the children it has been grouped into four types;
1) Aspergers syndrome
2) Rett disorder
3) Heller syndrome
4) Pervasive developmental disorder.
The types of Autism are not based on Etiology but on symptomatology. However there are several theories and hypothesis to explain the cause of Autism such as i) Genetics ii) Viral infection iii) Toxins. Other causes have also been explained to be the caused of Autism such as metabolic disorder etc.
Autism is called as spectrum disorder and necessarily it should occur during early childhood. Spectrum refers to a group of characteristics exhibited in the child and the diagnosis of Autism is based upon these characteristics. However the basic criteria is predominately social factors and communication skills i.e. impaired language development. Apart from these other features such as repetitive behaviour, impaired imitation, lack of eye contact, insistence of sameness, absence of social play, lack of social rule, abnormal response to sensori stimulation, impaired ability to perform special skill et.
The treatment or therapy of Autism is directed towards eliminating the symptoms through planned and structured activities by the therapist. Therapy of Autism is always a team work of Speech and Language Pathologist, Special Educators, Occupational Therapist and Psychologist primarily and other experts such as Physician, neurologists etc.
Whenever a therapy is planned on the basis of symptoms rather than the Etiology it is liable to be less effective and may not give desired out come.
My personal experiences of 32 years and theoretical foundation have given me insight about the Autism in a different way. I have encountered with almost 500 cases with Autism and concluded the most acceptable theory of sensory disintegration with a logical explanation and conclusion.
The theory is based on the cognitive factors derived from the sensory organ of the child. God has gifted us with sensory organs to acquire knowledge on the basis of experiences received from them and develop cognition and act through our motor organs on the basis of our knowledge and cognition.
100% of persons with Autism have difficulty in integrating the sensory input i.e. one sensory organ does not talk to other for gaining experience and knowledge which must happen otherwise. There is a disparity in Etiology and explanation about the symptoms. At one end it is said that Autism is basically a disorder of socialization and communication whereas on the other end it is said that family which is the primary units of society is not responsible for Autism. I do not disagree to the hypotheses which are still waiting to be proved for determination of Etiology. I have experienced no. of incidence of Autism which has increased many fold for the last 20 years. Autism is not an epidemic which is caused by virus or toxin neither the Gene of so many people got defective to have so many children with Autism. A logical interpretation is required before we do something for such kind of disorders, specially labeling them with a problem stating that this is life long problem. Therefore through this article I would like to convey the massage to all concerned that we should not victimize such children for our problems. When we probe into the problem of incidence of Autism there is higher tilt of percentage in families with conflict, or nuclear and both working parents.
Such children are born with intact sensory-motor abilities which requires constant training and integration. Parents now a days are very excited and anxious about their new born baby but not at their personal cost. Sacrifice of family and parents is a must for normal rearing and development of a child. Parents have gone towards the modern way of living in terms of reducing the amount and kind of care and attention required. For example Prams and Aya’s have replaced the mother and grannies hands for pseudo status and undisturbed sleep of parents and family members. Grandma’s stories have been replaced by cartoon films and video games. mud and soil have been replaced by Johnson Baby Powder and Olive oil, teddy bears and toys have replaced the siblings, cousin and neighbour’s children. There are many such examples. These were the traditional methods for training the child for sensory training and sensory-motor co-ordinations. Such training leads to knowledge, cognition social development and performance.
Autism can be concurred by reintroduction of age old methods of parenting and socialization. All the therapeutics and training should focus on independent stimulation of sensory in puts along with coordinating one sensory stimuli to other. Labeling the child creates disappointment and disgrace to parents and family. Therefore focus should be on the aspects of the symptoms through systematic planning according to the natural and traditional child rearing system based on theoretical foundation.