Autism in Kids: What are the Common Symptoms?

Being developmental disorder, autism is incurable and it is visible in the early months after birth. Autism primarily delays and affects the behavioral aspects in a child. The autistic children have problems in dealing with – social relationships and communication. They also face major problems in realizing their interests and hobbies.

The causes of autism grossly remain unknown. In fact, in the past, there was no specific method of detecting autism in kids. Autistic kids have always been misunderstood. In school they were considered to be kids with a problem as they didn’t understand the lessons easily and were slow in responding. As a matter of fact they were considered to be weak students. However, the autistic kids can be highly talented in certain cases. If you have seen the movie Rain Man, you will remember the character played by Dustin Hoffman as an autistic person who had this amazing talent of counting numbers within a split second.

Autism affects people differently. One person might be very intelligent and yet suffer from autism while the other person might be totally introvert and intellectually challenged at the same time. In fact, autism has a wide range of symptoms and you can never really categorize it under one heading.

The early indications are: 

• No babbling within age 1
• Not a single word within 16 months or even speaking two-word phrases within age 2
• No reactions when his/her name is called
• Lack of social skills and language skills
• Eye contact – Poor
• Habit of lining up toys/cloths excessively
• Lack of social responsiveness

The secondary indications that emerge in the later days are:

• Impairment in ability to interact with peers
• Absence of imagination and social skills
• Stereotyped and unusual usage of language which is repetitive at the same time
• Restricted interest pattern which is quite abnormal at the same time
• Frequent preoccupation with certain things
• Inflexible observance of routines

Presently it is expected that teachers should have the minimum understanding about the functional problems faced by the kids in the school. This is not something to shy away from, they need help and understanding.

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Psychology and Education: How does it affect us?

There was a time when no one cared about the role of psychology in any field of life. However, back then it was a dormant field and yet there were researchers who were working on this and considering its scopes in the modern day life.

As Edward L. Thorndike has put it, psychology is actually the science of intellects, characters and behavior.  

Gradually with passing time, we have realized the importance of psychology in education. Previously in schools, if a child seemed to be too naughty, he was just sent to the principal’s room and punished. Teacher’s hardly cared to find out about the real problem behind his mischief.

Nowadays, psychology has a major impact in education. After all education is one of the major building blocks. A child’s life, personality and future are shaped by education and the basic school climate. Previously teachers used to create a barrier between themselves and the students. This only led to a growing distance, that couldn’t be bridged after some time.

This also led to the notion that confiding in teachers might lead to bigger problems. It further added to their feeling of despair and helplessness, knowing the fact that they have no where to go and no one to ask for help. Moreover, an impersonal setting in the schools has always been instrumental in adding to the fear of schools and teachers in children.

This is the time when we feel the need of a counselor or a psychologist the most. Dealing with children in school is definitely not a piece of cake. A teacher has to understand the root cause of the problem that’s bothering a child. Psychological counseling definitely doesn’t mean that something is wrong with a person. In fact, psychological counseling might help to cure a major problem.

Most of us have the problem of shying away from our emotional and mental problems as we fear social humiliation. But what we don’t understand is that a small problem can be treated at a more nascent stage, but without any treatment it might lead to a bigger problem.

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