Autism

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In our everyday lives, we often hear, read or talk about mental health. But what is it that the term actually means? According to the World Health Organization , mental health is not just the absence of mental disorder and is defined as a state of well-being. Being mentally healthy means that you engage in productive activities that help you grow and develop. It means you have fulfilling relationships that make you feel happier, stronger and supported. And most importantly, being mentally healthy means you have the ability to adapt and cope with adversity or stress when it happens. Although many people the world over are living contented lives in a positive state of mental health, mental disorders are commonly occurring and often seriously impairing a significant proportion of the world’s population. Autism spectrum disorders are a group of complex brain development disorders, which cover conditions such as autism, childhood disintegrative disorder and Asperger syndrome. These disorders are characterised by difficulties in social interaction and communication, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour. According to recent reviews, the World Health Organization estimates that 1 child in every 160 has an autism spectrum disorder.

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes the hallmark feature of ASD as impaired social interaction. Other common signs can include: Failing to respond to his or her name Avoiding eye contact Resisting physical contact, such as cuddling Inability to play interactively with others Difficulty interpreting what others ar

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Scientific evidence suggests that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the onset of autism spectrum disorders. Researchers have identified a number of genes that are associated with the disorder. Some of these genetic problems seem to be inherited, while others appear to happen spontaneously. Researchers are also currently exploring whether environmental factors

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Because ASD varies widely in severity, making a diagnosis may be difficult. Instead, a doctor may use a questionnaire or other screening instrument to gather information about your child’s development and behavior.  If these tests indicate the possibility of an ASD, a more comprehensive evaluation is recommended. This evaluation may require a multidisciplinary team, incl

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While there is no cure for ASDs, intensive early treatment can make a big impact in the lives of many children with the disorder. Educational/behavioural interventions: Therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills. Medications: Doctors may also prescribe medications for treatmen

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