Written by Hyline Major on February 25, 2022
UNDERSTANDING AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.
During an exclusive interview with Radio Vuna Dr.Obure Sianyo a speech therapist who works at Galaxy hospital in Kisii explains that people with ASD have,difficulty with communication and interaction with other people which include making little or inconsistent eye contact,tending not to look at or listen to people,rarely sharing enjoyment of objects or activities by pointing or showing things to others,failing to, or being slow to, respond to someone calling their name or to other verbal attempts to gain attention,having difficulties with the back and forth of conversation,often talking at length about a favorite subject without noticing that others are not interested or without giving others a chance to respond,having facial expressions, movements, and gestures that do not match what is being said,having an unusual tone of voice that may sound sing-song or flat and robot-like,having trouble understanding another person’s point of view or being unable to predict or understand other people’s actions and many more.
On the other hand some may have restricted interests and repetitive behaviors and symptoms that hurt the person’s ability to function properly in school, work, and other areas of life.Repeating certain behaviors or having unusual behaviors for example, repeating words or phrases,having a lasting intense interest in certain topics, such as numbers, details, or facts,having overly focused interests, such as with moving objects or parts of objects,getting upset by slight changes in a routine or being more or less sensitive than other people to sensory input, such as light, noise, clothing, or temperature.
Autism is known as a spectrum disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience. It occurs in all ethnic, racial, and economic groups. Although it can be a lifelong disorder, treatments and services can improve a person’s symptoms and ability to function, according to Dr.Sianyo all caregivers should talk to their doctor about ASD screening or evaluation before commencing treatments.
Dr.Sianyo emphasizes that this kid should not be discriminated nor abandoned rather they should be given enough love and support from care givers and the community at large according to him although people with this condition experience many challenges, they may also have many strengths which include; being able to learn things in detail and remember information for long periods of time, being strong visual and auditory learner excelling in subjects like mathematics, science, music, or art.
According to Dr.Sianyo, scientists have not yet established the exact causes of autism spectrum disorder they are are still trying to understand why some people develop this kind of disorder while others do not. Although there is some speculation that some risk factors may include: prolonged labor, having certain genetic conditions,very low birth weight and that it can be inherited from family with the same condition.