Autism in Children: How to Reduce Risk Early!

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition in which a person has problems with social, speech and communication skills. They have repetitive behaviors. It affects 0.2 percent of Indian babies. The figure may be higher because many people don’t know it. This is especially true in rural areas where access to health services may be insufficient. There are several subtypes of ASD depending on where a person is treated. Individuals with ASD have different strengths and disabilities or challenges. Their mental abilities vary from highly skilled to intensely challenging. Some are geniuses in music, art or mathematics. Most people with ASD will need help in their daily lives. Some may be completely independent.

risk factors for autism

The cause of autism is uncertain. These factors can be a combination of environmental, biological and genetic factors. ASD is often associated with gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, sleep disorders. Anxiety, depression, and other attention problems

autism in children
Know the risk factors for autism in children. Image Courtesy: Adobe Stock

The risk factors for autism are as follows:

  • Siblings with ASD
  • Family history of ASD in either parent.
  • Genetic or chromosomal conditions, such as fragile X syndrome, epilepsy in one parent
  • autoimmune disease in parents
  • Parents over 35 years old
  • smoking and alcohol
  • infections during pregnancy, such as (Rubella and CMV)
  • Malnutrition, such as iron deficiency
  • Medications such as anticonvulsants (Valproate), antidepressants (SSRIs)

Boys are at a higher risk of autism.

It’s 4 times more common in boys. Here’s why! This list is long but not exhaustive.

  • premature birth low birth weight gestational diabetes Complications during childbirth
  • Some reports relate to the use of acetaminophen in pregnancy It has not been verified by most institutions.
  • Exposure to toxic substances found in plastic items (e.g. bottles, cups, food storage containers), paint, new carpet, etc. These toxins include BPA, PBDEs, PCBs, PCDDs, etc.
  • air pollution caused by traffic smoke
  • Heavy metals such as lead and mercury
  • Prenatal Stress and Anxiety

How is the diagnosis?

ASD can be seen at 6-12 months, but is most common at 3 years of age. It usually lasts a lifetime. Early detection and proper treatment can reduce disability. Some children have anxiety, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). This is difficult because there is no unbiased method like other medical tests or tools. The diagnosis is made by a healthcare professional, usually by a doctor based on behavior and development. Research is underway to identify signs of autism in pregnancy. Certain MRI findings in the fetal brain, such as enlarged insula and amygdala, may predict later autism. These are preliminary and require further proof.

How can I reduce the risk of early autism?

Some steps can be taken to reduce the risk of autism. But it is unlikely that we will be able to prevent it completely.

autism in children
Here’s how you can reduce the risk of autism in children. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Here are some ways that might help:

  • Having children when parents are 21 to 35 years old
  • Safe Medications for Anxiety, Stress, and Epilepsy
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol and toxins.
  • Antenatal care, regular follow up on OBG treatment and adequate diabetes control.
  • Risk factors for preterm birth and low birth weight are identified and managed promptly.
  • Don’t put on too much weight and exercise regularly.
  • Adequate nutrition, supplements such as folate, omega-3, vitamin D3, iron and calcium.
  • Manage anxiety and stress.
  • breastfeed for longer
  • Avoid salon fumes, new homes, carpets, paint, and traffic.
  • try to eat organic
  • Do not store food and water in plastic containers.
  • Identify and treat infections in pregnancy.
  • Although some children with ASD have taken preventive measures. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help these children have a better quality of life and reduce their dependence.
  • Yoga, meditation, brain teasers, and Garbh Sanskar are some of the traditional remedies believed to reduce the incidence of individuals with ASD.

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