Prevention and Treatment for Autism
According to the DSM 5 Autism can be defined as a persistent deficit in social communication and social interactions including social – emotional reciprocity, use of non-verbal communicative behaviours used in social interaction and deficits in developing and maintaining relationships as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities.
Autism is on the rise and knowing that 1 in every 68 children are diagnosed with autism, more and more people are looking towards prevention and treatment for autism.
A study in the New England Journal of medicine found differences in the brain of children with autism as early as the second trimester. One can come to the conclusion that prevention and treatment of autism can start as early as pregnancy. Research also shows that children can be diagnosed with autism due to genetic causes like a MTFR mutation as well as environmental causes or as a result of the interactions between genes and environmental factors according to Paul Wang, MD, senior vice president of medical research for Autism Speaks.
In prevention and treatment for autism it is very important to take precautions as early as possible. Early intervention is the key to success in prevention and treatment for autism. Here are some prevention methods during pregnancy that you can take to lower a child’s risk to be diagnosed with ASD:
–check the medicine you take: recent studies have shown a correlation between the medicine pregnant women take and children being diagnosed with autism and it is very important that a you talk to you doctor about if the medication you take will increase the risk of ASD. A study done at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that the prolonged use of paracetamol during pregnancy increased the risk of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by 30%. Always check with your doctor what the benefits of the medication as well as the side effects to aid in prevention and treatment for autism.
–up your folic acid intake: Folic Acid is complex B vitamin and is similar to vitamin B -12, but consists of B-9 that can dissolve in water and is the key ingredient in the making of nucleic acid that forms part of all our genetic material and carries out the crucial functions of creating more red blood cells and preserves brain health of infants. Research has shown a correlation between reduced folic acid intake and ASD; a low intake of folic acid can increase the risk of children being diagnosed with ASD. 400 – 800mcg is the recommended amount of folic acid intake daily to assist in prevention and treatment for autism.
–avoid the intake of toxic chemicals: one study has shown that there is a correlation between the exposure of toxic chemicals to pregnant women and ASD. Eating canned food and drinking water from plastic bottles or eating microwaved food increases a mother’s exposure to toxic chemicals and can ultimately increase the risk of being diagnosed with ASD. To aid in prevention and treatment for autism, you can reduce your intake of the toxic chemicals.
Studies have also shown that applied behavior analysis (ABA) aids in effective prevention and treatment for autism. Applied behavior analysis is defined as the use of the principles of behavior to effectively and systematically change behavior. In simpler terms, it is reinforcing a good behavior to increase the occurrence of that behavior and not reinforcing a behavior to decrease the occurrence of that behavior. The Star academy uses ABA as an effective treatment plan for ASD. Using ABA, The Star Academy expands and teaches skills across all domains of learning (language, adaptive, motor, cognitive, executive functions, social and play) that are on par with the development of neurotypical children’s development while working on decreasing problem behavior and replacing it with socially acceptable behavior.
Other effective methods of prevention and treatment of autism is making dietary changes, implementing a biomedical intervention with or without applied behavior analysis. It is important to consult with a certified medical practitioner when pursuing any course of biomedical treatment.