Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It covers a large spectrum of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment.

Symptoms of autism

Autism typically appears during the first three years of life. Some children show signs from birth. Others seem to develop normally at first, only to slip suddenly into symptoms when they are 18 to 36 months old. Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls.

1. Lack of communication

Children with autism have trouble communicating. They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel. This makes it very hard for them to express themselves either with words or through gestures,
facial expressions, and touch.

Examples of communication issues :
Echolalia: It is a meaningless repetition of another person's spoken words as a symptom of a psychiatric disorder. The child repeats words or phrases over and over.  It can be immediate, with the speaker repeating something right away after hearing it. It can also be delayed, with the speaker repeating something hours or days after hearing it.
It is estimated that up to 75% of people on the autism spectrum have exhibited echolalia, a symptom of some children with ASD is the struggle to produce spontaneous speech so echolalia is used as a coping mechanism allowing a person with autism to contribute to a conversation when unable to produce spontaneous speech.

Other communication issues in ASD

  • Delayed speech and language skills
  • Reverses pronouns (e.g. says ‘you’ instead of ‘I’)
  • Gives unrelated answers to questions
  • Does not point or respond to pointing
  • Uses few or no gestures (e.g. does not wave goodbye)
  • Talks in a flat, robot-like, or sing-song voice
  • Does not pretend in play (e.g. does not pretend to “feed” a doll)
  • Does not understand jokes, sarcasm, or teasing

2. Social Issues

  • Does not respond to name by 12 months of age
  • Does not understand personal space boundaries
  • Avoids eye contact and prefers to play alone
  • Does not share interests with others
  • Only interacts to achieve a desired goal
  • Avoids or resists physical contact
  • Is not comforted by others during distress

3. Unusual Interests and Behaviors

  • Repetitive Behavior
  • Resistance to change e.g. Plays with toys the same way every time or follows certain routines.
  • Sensory Issues: can involve both hyper-sensitivities and hypo-sensitivities
  • Lines up toys or other objects
  • Likes parts of objects (e.g. wheels)
  • Is very organized
  • Have obsessive interests
  • Flaps hands, rocks body, or spins self in circles
  • Aggression
  • Children with autism may develop very aggressive behavior, temper -tantrums, or self-injurious behavior

Homeopathic perspective

Homeopathy aims to treat the patient as a whole i.e. a thorough investigation is done into the whole history of the Autistic patient evaluating each and every behavior. In certain cases where we see an early onset of symptoms in a child, we may need to enquire about the pregnancy history of the mother including any diseases, medications during her pregnancy as well her mental and emotional state is considered. After considering each and every aspect an appropriate course of treatment is decided upon in each case individually.

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