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Nowadays, there is awareness of what autism is and what the early signs of autism are.
For sure, there are many kinds, and regressive autism is one of them. Most parents understand and know how to identify the warning signs of this developmental disability in children.
However, there are instances when a supposed-to-be early normal development of a child starts to lose these skills as he grows older. In fact, just the changing facial expression and recognition that a child exhibits like smiling, cooing, babbling are milestones that parents eagerly await.
There are many books that tell parents when these milestones should be achieved, and when they're not, parents begin to wonder if there's something wrong with their child. In some instances, the child does exhibit these skills, and then just loses them. This sudden change is what regressive autism is all about.
Regressive autism is a rare condition wherein a child who appears to develop normally for the first three to four years, meeting all the physical, motor, social and communicative skill milestones, suddenly starts to lose these skills and is subsequently diagnosed with autism.
There has been no standard definition for regression, and the prevalence rate of regression may vary depending on the case observed. Some children may exhibit a combination of features, with some early delays and later losses, while others may exhibit evidence of a continuous range of behaviors between autism with and without regression.
Unlike the usual form of autism, regressive autism may develop for a number of years before the symptoms may appear.
Although classic autism does usually present symptoms during the first couple of years of life, the symptoms of regressive autism do not show up for a few years. Its symptoms are similar to classic autism. These include loss of communication, language and social interaction skills, diminished new acquired skills, oversensitivity to certain elements like sound and lights, inability to feel pain or discomfort, impairment of motor skills, potential development of seizures.
Some doctors also see an impairment, though not severe, of the child's immune system functions. This has to be one of the more frightening symptoms for parents, because it leaves the child vulnerable to diseases. These symptoms can also be seen on other forms of autism. However, these may vary greatly in severity when speaking of regressive autism as the main disorder of the child.
Although the signs and symptoms of regressive autism is the same with the usual autism, the two disorders are very dissimilar. The symptoms presented by regressive autism appear much later than those of classic autism. Children with late onset of autism have met most of the developmental milestones on time within their first three years of life.
Once certain skills are developed, they begin to disappear quite suddenly. The regression of the child's physical and social skills. The language and conversational ability, and of course, coping skills can be quite profound, impairing those once fully developed skills of a child. This sudden change is very stressful to parents, making regressive autism difficult to accept and understand.
Children, who are experiencing regressive autism, as well as the other forms of autism, should undergo treatment as soon as possible. The treatment regimen includes supplements, behavioral therapy, dietary intervention, supplements, control of recurrent infections, and the development of educational plans.
These set of treatment modalities will help parents deal with their child’s behavioral problem.