Expert harps on more attention to children with Autism

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A Paediatrician, Dr Innocent Osazuwa, on Tuesday said that children living with Autism spectrum disorder should be given more attention and love.

Osazuwa, who said this in Benin, the Edo state capital noted that there was no cure for autism spectrum disorder, but intensive early treatment could make a big difference in the lives of many children.

“Autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term spectrum in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity.

“Autism spectrum disorder begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society, socially in school and at work place, for example.

“Often,children show symptoms of autism within the first year. A small number of children appear to develop normally in the first year and then go through a period of regression between 18 and 24 months of age when they develop autism symptoms,’’ he said.

Osazuwa said the symptoms of autism includes; reduction in eye contact, lack of response to their name or indifference to caregivers.

“Some children may develop normally for the first few months or years of life, but then suddenly becomes withdrawn or aggressive or lose language skills they have already acquired. The signs usually are seen by age of two years,’’ he explained.

The paediatrician said some children with autism spectrum disorder had difficulty in learning while some had signs of lower than normal intelligence.

He said the disorder had no single known cause, given the complexity of the disorder and the fact that symptoms and severity vary, there are probably many causes. Both genetics and environment may play a role.

Osazuwa advised any parent or guardian that noticed such symptoms in his or her child, to see a medical practitioner for treatment.

Bilkisu Pai