REALIZING AUTISM AT THE EARLY STAGE IN BABIES.

ASANTEWAA BEATRICE
ASANTEWAA BEATRICE
It has been ten years since seeing Michael like this. I hope to see him walk and talk like the other children. I went to the hospital and the Doctor said it was just a fever. But the situation keeps on lingering every day. He barely eats, cries, or responds to play. I don't know what's wrong with my baby. I am just tired of seeing different doctors. I may not know how this sounds to you but l couldn't get out of bed and face the day, l felt mentally depleted and worried after seeing a mother quaver about the emotional, social, and family burden of having an autistic baby. But whom are we to blame? Is the Doctor? or the mother?‌‌No one here is to blame. That's why this article educates us on Autism, its signs, and how to realize it early in your baby.

DISCLAIMER

‌‌I am no medical expert. Content is based solely on personal interaction with the autistic mother and readings. See a Doctor if you realize unusual changes in your baby.

AUTISM, HOW DOES IT COME ABOUT?

‌‌Autism has been known as a lifelong disorder that affects how a person feels, thinks, and behaves. It's a complex developmental condition caused by differences in the brain. It is often diagnosed more in boys than in girls and mostly shows symptoms within 12,18 to 24month.‌‌Unfortunately, there is no known isolated cause of autism. But, it has been generally recognized as abnormalities in brain function. So let's delve into the general view of the brain and how it functions for autistics.

‌‌OVERVIEW OF THE BRAIN.

‌‌The brain is an amazing organ that controls all functions of the body. It consists of the cerebral, cerebellum, and brainstem. Oops! I have gone for more, yeah, so first of all, the brain is split into two halves, what we popularly know as the right and left brain.  But, the truth is that, is the cerebral that is divided into two halves and is joined by fibers called corpus collosum that delivers messages from one side to the other side. So, each half controls the opposite side of the body. That's why if one suffers a stroke on the left side of the brain, the left hand and leg got affected too.‌‌

Now, the cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and controls our speech, reasoning, emotions, vision, touch, learning, hearing, and movements.‌‌

The Cerebellum on the other hand is located right under the cerebrum and coordinates muscle movement, maintaining posture and balance.‌‌

The brainstem connects the cerebrum and the cerebellum to the spinal cord and performs automatic functions like wake and sleep cycles, breathing, swallowing, coughing, vomiting, and so on.‌‌Again, the two halves of the brain have four lobes each of which is a feather divided into areas that serve specific functions. The lobes are the frontal, occipital, temporal, and parietal lobes.

‌‌CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LOBES OF THE BRAIN.

A.  FRONTAL LOBE.

‌‌The frontal lobe is located behind the forehead and it controls voluntary movement, personality utterance, social behaviors, and more.‌‌‌‌‌‌

B. OCCIPITAL LOBE.

‌The occipital lobe interprets colour or light movement.‌‌

C. TEMPORAL LOBE.‌‌

The temporal lobe helps in sequencing and organization, earshot, and comprehension of languages.‌‌

D. PARIETAL LOBE.‌‌

This also interprets languages, signals from vision, and visual perception.‌‌

In general, the left part of the brain is responsible for speech and language and is called the " dominant hemisphere". And, the right part is responsible for information processing.

THE INTERWORKING OF THE AUTISTIC BRAIN.

‌‌We now know the parts of the brain that process information or the communication between the left and right brain in normal individuals. Awesome! But, don't forget our thinking and cognitive processes bounce back and forth between the two halves of the brain.  Quick refresher, mind you that, on top of the lobes lies the grey matter( cerebral cortex). And that is where information processing occurs.  And the more grey matter, the more information that can be processed.

We're going to be more technical now.

‌‌In autistics, the grey matter that folds and wrinkles into gyri and sulci, like wave ripples into peaks and troughs developed differently. Specifically, there is more folding in the right frontal and temporal lobes as well as the left parietal lobe. This enables weakly connected regions of the temporal and frontal lobes to drift apart, with sulci forming between them and affecting language formation. This is only one factor in how autism may come about. The other factors are very complicated and mysterious, that l can not make you understand even if l keep you here for One hundred pages. So, let's look at the symptoms and how you can indicate autism in your babies.

SYMPTOMS OF AUTISM.

‌‌Symptoms of autism are classified into two.

  1. Duplicative behavior.
  2. Problems with social relations and communication.‌‌

PROBLEMS WITH SOCIAL RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATION.

The following are symptoms of autism that appear before age 5
  1. Baby not maintaining eye contact from birth.
  2. Not responding to activities at nine months.
  3. Not displaying their emotions. Like being surprised or furious about something.
  4. Not using gestures like hand-waving or clapping.
  5. Not looking at where others look at 18 months.
  6. Not noticing when others appear awful. Like a scary face etc, at 24months of age.
  7. And lastly, not playing games at 60 months of age.

DUPLICATIVE BEHAVIOUR.

‌‌Duplicative behavior is symptoms related to movement and behaviors. These includes

  1. running back and forth
  2. Repeating phrases over and over again
  3. Unusual reaction to tasting smells or sounds.
  4. delayed movement
  5. Unusual eating and sleeping pattern.
Autism has multiple causes like genetic factors, and environmental factors Combined with neurological conditions. It's up to mothers to notice their babies the things they do and what they don't do. And slight changes in new babies should be reported to a doctor right away.

REFERENCES

1. "Characteristics of Brains in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Structure, Function, and Connectivity across the Lifespan" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4688328/

2. "Autism Spectrum Disorder: Autistic Brains vs Non-Autistic Brains" https://www.psycom.net/autism-brain-differences

Health

ASANTEWAA BEATRICE

I am an artless lady who seeks to improve the health care of children in deprived areas with little knowledge l have. I love to write, motivate, and inspire people with academic challenges.