Autism is a serious disorder which affects the normal development of the child affected. Autism symptoms are accompanied by some other medical problems also. For proper treatment of autism a basic knowledge about these medical problems is essential. Read on to know the other medical conditions related to autism. Autism is a brain disorder which regresses the development of the child. Every child with autism shows different signs, symptoms and challenges. Autism is called a spectrum disorder because it is not a single disorder but a variety of various closely-related disorders having shared symptoms.
Autism affects the child’s social and communication skills and behaviour. However, the symptoms and disabilities in every autistic child are different. Treating autism at an early age can be very fruitful for the child. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the condition of the child considerably. However, it is seen that there are many other medical problems which affect children along with autism spectrum disorder. It is important to gain knowledge about them.
The other related medical conditions in children along with autism are as follows.
Mental Retardation - Children having autism may often suffer from mental retardation. These children have a certain degree of mental impairment. It is stated that around 75% of children having autism are mentally retarded. During medical evaluation some of the abilities of these children may be absolutely normal whereas some may be very weak. They may fair very well in the visual test but may fair poorly in the language subtests.
Sensory Problems - In Autism spectrum disorder, it becomes difficult for the brain to balance its senses properly which leads to sensory problems. Due to sensory problems they react sensitively to certain sounds, smells, tastes and textures. They may under react or overreact to sensory stimuli.
These children at times may not react to people talking to them but even the softest sound can highly affect them. The sound of the vacuum cleaner, storm or a ringing telephone can disturb them greatly causing them to cover their ears tightly. Autistic children are sensitive to touch wherein even the touch of a soft fabric can irritate them.
Seizures - In autism spectrum disorder, seizures are caused due to the abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Out of every four children, one child has epileptic seizures. These children develop seizures during adolescence. The symptoms of seizures are temporary loss of consciousness or a black-out, staring spells, convulsions and unusual body movements.
Subclinical seizure disorder is another type of seizure with symptoms like self-injury, poor academics, loss of acquired behavioural skills and tantrums. At times high fever and lack of sleep can also be contributing input. Seizures however can be controlled by medicines called ‘anticonvulsants’.
Tuberous Sclerosis - One to four percent of people with autism have tuberous sclerosis. This is a very uncommon genetic disorder which causes benign tumours to grow in the various vital parts of the body like lungs, brain, eyes, heart and skin. Tuberous sclerosis has a constant strong connection with autism.
Fragile X syndrome - This is most common cause of mental retardation in autistic children. It is caused due to a defect in the X chromosome which looks fragile and pinched under the microscope. 5% of individuals with autism are affected with the fragile X syndrome.
For parents who plan to have another child, it is crucial to get the first child with autism checked for the fragile X syndrome. If the child has fragile X then there are risks that the other boys born to the same parents will also have fragile X. It is advisable that all the other family members planning a baby should also be checked for the fragile X syndrome.
These are the other medical conditions that affect children with autism.