Autism is a condition related to brain development involving persistent challenges with social communication, restricted interests and repetitive behavior. While autism is considered a lifelong disorder, the degree of impairment in functioning because of these challenges varies between individuals with autism. People with autism have trouble with communication. They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel. This makes it hard for them to express themselves, either by words or through gestures, facial expressions.
There is no one cause of autism. Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and non genetic, environmental, influences. Several factors may influence the development of autism and it is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures or sleep disorders as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression and attention issues.
Sign and symptoms
Symptoms of autism typically become clearly evident during early childhood, between ages 12 and 24 months. However, symptoms may also appear earlier or later.
- From birth: trouble maintaining eye contact.
- By 9 months: not responding to their name , not displaying facial expressions reflective of their emotions (like surprise or anger)
- By 12 months: not engaging in basic interactive games, not using hand gestures like hand – waving.
- By 15 months: not sharing their interests with others.
- By 18 months: not pointing or looking where others point, not noticing when others appear sad or hurt.
Some autistic people might experience additional symptoms including;
- Delayed movement, language, or cognitive skills
- GI symptoms like constipation or diarrhea
- Excess worry or stress
- Unusual levels of fear
- Hyperactive, inattentive or impulsive behaviors
- Unexpected emotional reactions
- Unusual eating habits, sleep patterns
Ayurvedic Management for Autism
- Set up schedule – a busy schedule works best in children with autism. Set up a schedule for your child, with regular times for meals, therapy, school, bedtime.
- Encourage them with reward– praise them when they perform well in activities or learn a new skill and always reward them for their good behavior.
- Gluten free food – gluten isn’t an autism causing factor but it may worsen the sypmtoms. Many kids with autism have known to be sensitive to components of foods with gluten in it. So gluten free diet is advised to the children.
- Chamomile tea – it is loaded with antioxidants that improve sleep quality and promote digestive health.
- Shirodhara – In this, warm herbal oil is poured on the forehead continuously and slowly. This Ayurveda therapy is effective in reducing stress, promoting sound sleep, and calming a distressed mind.
- Diet – Ayurveda diet for autistic children basically involves balancing food and drinks such as cow’s milk pulses like green gram and red gram, fruits like apple, pomegranate, carrot, pear etc.
- Yoga and Meditation – Yoga is implemented in autistic children’s life to improve muscle strength, tone. Meditation increases brain function and nerve stimulation and allows children with autism to quell aggression by calming the mind and body.