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What is Autism?

Autism is a disorder that usually appears in the first two years of life, significantly affecting social and communication skills. Autism is a lifelong developmental problem that affects an individual’s interaction and relationships with the other people around him.

The main characteristics of autism can be defined as difficulties and limitations in social and communication skills, repetitive-limiting interests and behaviours, and sometimes delay in cognitive development,

The areas of social interaction and communication are the most affected areas in autism. There is a delay in the language acquisition process, and sometimes language skills may be lost later (regression). Difficulty in initiating and maintaining communication, repetitive speech (echolalia), limitation in vocabulary, excessive focus on a particular topic, talking that are not appropriate for the context, meaningless repetitive sounds, challenging behaviours such as screaming, crying, hitting etc., difficulties in the semantic (meaning of language) and pragmatic (social language skills) areas of speech.

There is no definitive treatment or cure in autism. Today, the main treatment is education. It is very important that the child psychiatrist and/or child neurologist, paediatrician, special education teacher, allied health professionals such as speech pathologist, occupational therapist, psychologist work in a team and that families can participate and support the educational process.

With early intervention, positive changes can be seen in the frequency and severity of symptoms.

Speech and language therapy in autism is quite important. In the therapy process, activities are carried out to gain the speech, language, and communication skills of the child with autism, to expand the communication skills and to generalize the skills to daily life. Building up social skills with speech and language therapy can help enhance participation in community and support outcomes lie happiness and friendships.


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