ASD is a genetic developmental disorder characterised by difficulties with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behaviour. Although it is hard to diagnose before 24 months, symptoms often surface between 12 to 18 months. Male children are seen to be more affected by autism than female children.
Signs of autism include abnormal body posturing or facial expressions, abnormal tone of voice, poor eye contact, behavioural disturbance and deficits in language comprehension.
Autistic people are not mentally retarded and if they are, only a minor degree of retardation is seen. Raising a child with ASD can be an overwhelming experience for parents as they may also suffer emotionally due to their child's unusual behaviour.
- Having a Family Member with Autism.
- Genetic Mutations.
- Fragile X : Syndrome & Other Genetic Disorders.
- Being Born to Older Parents.
- Low Birth Weight.
- Metabolic Imbalances.
- Exposure to Heavy Metals and Environmental Toxins.
- A history of Viral Infections.
Although families are often most concerned about environmental risk factors for autism, the reality is that genetic factors play a much larger role overall. The incorrect and ill-suited food and lifestyle of the parents especially during pregnancy also is a cause for children to be autistic.
In Ayurveda, autism is defined as the role of disarrangement in brain nerves and cells which cause impairment and functioning of mind. It could be a result of improper metabolism where the individual is unable to digest beneficial substances and eliminate the toxins. This can lead to accumulation of toxins causing disturbances in body equilibrium. Parental defects (matruja or pitruja vaikalya) and their food and habits (aharavihaara) is also an important reason for the impaired development as this affects the genetic constitution of the child.
Autism as per Ayurveda is considered to be a condition where the normal movement of vata is suppressed which causes vata imbalance, more precisely prana vata.
This sub-dosha of Vata has many functions, including managing the vital force in the cells; of all senses, mental energy, nerve impulses. Prana's imbalance mainly affects neurological functions and brain activity, so problems with concentration, speech, memory, scholarly abilities occur.
The reversal of condition is least possible. However, the patient's behavioural and communicational aspects can be improved.
As per Ayurveda, it is advised to stabilise the imbalanced vata dosha (basic element of the body) along with rectifying the problems with metabolism.
At Kooplicat Ayurveda Hospital, treatment is mainly aimed at the removal of toxins from the body. Digestion, metabolism and nourishment of the cells are improved by intake of herbs, healing oil massage, toxin cleansing procedures. All this is done with the help of specialized forms of communication and care to autistic people, as Ayurveda has a detailed system for this purpose.