Autism is a popular topic in the news right now. Several celebrities have come out and told the world about their Autistic children. This is causing more people to be aware of Autism, and to question whether their child is Autistic. Nobody wants to think that something could be wrong with their child. Then they watch a news report or hear someone talking about a child that has Autism and they start to question their own child.
The symptoms of Autism are many, and they vary in each child. Just because you see some symptoms of Autism in your child does not mean they are Autistic. There are other medical conditions that have the same symptoms. Some children are late on their developmental milestones. Each child develops at their own rate. Just because your child is not talking by the time they are one does not mean for certain they have Autism.
If you have concerns about your child’s development speak to their healthcare provider. They can tell you if further testing should be considered. A lot of parents try to self-diagnoses their children. This can be a big mistake. It takes several qualified medical professionals to diagnose a child with Autism. This will not be done with one appointment with the paediatrician. You will have a team of health care providers in evaluating your child. The earlier you have your child evaluated the better the chances of treatment helping the child.
Try not to compare your child with other children. Each child is an individual. They grow and develop at their own rate. While they may be late for some milestones, they may excel at others. Sometimes a parent has a gut instinct that tells them there is something wrong. If you feel that your child is having problems and the doctor does not agree, get a second opinion. Parents have to be the voice for their child.
Finding out if your child is Autistic can take time. It can be an about experience for both the child and the parent. Once you find out if your child is Autistic you can begin the process of treatment, or finding out what is causing your child’s problems if it is not Autism.
Signs that your child needs to be evaluated further include.
1. No eye contact
2. No communication. This can be sounds, or words.
3. Shows no emotions.
4. Does not pretend play.
5. Uses repetitive movements.
6. Have a hard time with schedule changes.
7. Do not respond to you when you are talking to them. This can be with looks or words.
8. Does things over and over again.
9. Loses skills they knew.
10. Develops an attachment to a certain food, or smell. These are sensory issues.
If you see these signs in your child talk to the doctor about them. Getting a diagnosis and treatment plan is very important. At the same time do not worry over every little thing. Some children just take a little longer to reach their milestones.
Diagnosis of bipolar disorder among children have never been made until only recently in the medical field. Before, the disorder was seen to emerge among unfortunate adolescents and adults, but with advancement in identification tests, the disorder can now be detected as early as childhood. Thus, early treatment can be started.
An early diagnosis of the disorder in children may give them a better chance in treatment. This will help them cope with the disease more properly, achieve character equilibrium, realise a top level of wellness, and grow up to be a self-aware and well rounded adult. With the right treatment, the disorder can be easily controlled and they may lead a normal happy life.
The prevalence of the disorder in children is suspected to be significant with those who are already diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit with hyperactivity disorder) in the United States. Children and adolescents who have suffered from relapsing depressions may be suffering from an early start-up of bipolar disorder except that the manic stage of the disorder has not yet occurred. The more epidemiological studies are conducted the more the medical world is becoming aware how common this disorder surface among children.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is characterised by extreme mood changes that includes depression and mania (extreme euphoria). But the disorder has some variations among children compared to those of the adults. Bipolar among children generally have constant mood alterations that is a combination of depression and mania in rapid cycles. Persistent irritability is caused by the rapid mood cycles as well as a few periods of wellness in between phases.
DSM-IV criteria (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV) are used to diagnose bipolar disorder among adults. Although there is no age limit when using the DSM-IV, there is no real specific criteria for children which makes it quite difficult to use.
The following are the common behaviours found in children afflicted with bipolar disorder:
? hyperactive, easily distracted
? authority problems
? extensively destructive temper
? insomnia alternating with oversleeping
? depressed, apathetic, passive
? fast changing moods from a few hours to several days
? delusions and hallucinations
? beliefs of grandiosity
? flight of ideas, extremely talkative
? extreme anxiety when separated from family even for a short period of time
? night time fears and tirades
? unsuitable sexual behaviour
? extreme hunger for sweet food and carbohydrates
The disorder can also be noted during infancy. Parents of later bipolar diagnosed children frequently cite erratic behaviour such as being unusually clingy and unmanageable tantrums reminiscent of seizures.
Like bipolar syndrome in adults, children or pediatric bipolar syndrome is classified into four: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymia, and Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.
In Bipolar I, patients undergo interchanging episodes of extreme depression and psychotic mania.
Bipolar II, the patient undergoes moments of hypomania interchanging with moments of depression. Hypomania is sometimes attributed to immense creativity. Hypomania is manifested by irritable or elevated mood with an addition of enhanced mental and physical energy.
Cyclothymia is the form of disorder wherein the individual afflicted undergoes stages of milder but specific mood changes.
Lastly, Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is the form of the disorder that the physicians are not able to classify in any of the above mentioned classifications. It is also characterised by manic-depressive mood swings but there are symptoms where the illness can not be either identified as Bipolar I, II, or Cyclothymia.
The parents who are worried about their child’s welfare, specifically a child who talks about suicide, should have them evaluated and/or assessed by a legitimate professional who is an expert with psychiatric disorders and its treatments.
Concerned adults who believe one of their charges is afflicted with the disorder should take notes everyday of the child’s behaviour, sleeping patterns, speech, and strange events surrounding the child. These observations will importantly help the physician in their evaluations and find an appropriate treatment.
The disorder can be controlled through a combination of medication, close supervision of behavioural symptoms, psychotherapy for both the patient and the family, knowledge about the disorder, excellent nutrition, regular exercise and sleeping patterns, and lessening of stressful situations.
It is best if the parents and the medical professionals work hand in hand in the treatment of the child. The family’s involvement in the treatment plan can lessen the intensity, incidence, and extent of episodes.
A bipolar disorder or manic depression is a severe illness but can be treated. It’s a brain disorder characterised by extreme swings of energy, mood, behaviour, and thinking. The symptoms are present in early childhood or even during infancy. It can also suddenly emerge in adulthood or adolescence. But today, diagnosis of bipolar disorder in childhood is often made. It is because doctors can identify and treat young children with bipolar disorder easier now.
Early prevention and treatment provide greater chances of getting well, achieve stability, and enjoy life as these children grow up. Proper treatments reduce any adverse effects not only in the life of affected children but in their family as well.
The families of children and adolescents with bipolar disorder can become desperate for support and information. Learning about bipolar disorder is the first step for finding the right treatment. The occurrence of this condition in children is not yet known, since it lacks epidemiological studies. But bipolar disorder can affect almost 1% to 2% of adults all over the world. Diagnosing symptoms in children can prevent its long-term effects.
Children that are diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the U.S. have ADHD (attention-deficit with hyperactivity disorder). The depression in teens and children is typically relapsing and chronic. Several studies reveal that 3.4 million significant proportions of children and young adults with depression is actually experiencing the early symptoms of a bipolar disorder however the manic phase is never yet experienced.
Marked changes of a bipolar disorder in terms of energy and moods are apparent in children. Persistent condition of extreme agitation or elation accompanied by high levels of energy is called mania while persistent condition of extreme irritability or sadness accompanied by low levels of energy is called depression.
This illness afflicting children may appear to be very different compared to adults. Generally, children have continuous, ongoing mood disturbances with combined symptoms of depression and mania. This severe and rapid cycling among moods can produce chronic irritability. Sometimes, state of wellness is manifested between episodes.
Parents revealed that their children that have bipolar disorder display symptoms such as irritable or expansive mood, lack of enthusiasm in play, extreme sadness, rapid mood swings that can last for several hours and even in days, rages that is lengthy, explosive, and destructive, separation anxiety, defies authority, hyperactivity, distractibility, agitation, night terrors, bed wetting, sleeping too little or too much, frequent and strong cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, excessively involve with multiple activities and projects, impaired judgment, racing thoughts, impulsivity, pressure on talking too much, display behaviours of a dare-devil, precocious or inappropriate sexual behaviour, hallucinations and delusions, and grandiose belief or too much self confidence defying laws or logic.
Bipolar disorder symptoms may emerge earlier. The manifestations can even be diagnosed in infants. More often, mothers have reported that their children who are diagnosed later with a bipolar disorder have difficulty in sleeping and settle erratically. These children extraordinarily seemed clingy, and often had seizure-like, uncontrollable rages or tantrums that are sometimes not appropriate for a certain event. These rages are often triggered with the “no” word.
There are other factors that may triggers symptoms in teens. A traumatic event or loss can trigger the first episodes of mania or depression. Later episodes sometimes independently occur when stressed out. Puberty is another risk factor triggering the illness especially during menstrual cycle in girls. Once the disorder begins, the recurrence of episodes is possible in most untreated cases. Some studies show that a lag of ten years after the first episodes is possible. It is advisable that parents let their teens undergo an evaluation if more than four symptoms persist.
In addition, teens with bipolar disorder that is left untreated can lead to drugs and alcohol abuse. Some adolescents who display a normal behaviour until puberty but experiences sudden onsets are more vulnerable to alcohol or drug addiction. Any child or teen that abuses such substances must be properly assessed. There are instances that the illness is highly genetic but environmental factors influences a lot if it will really occur.
There are studies conducted to further explore the characteristics of children with bipolar disorder. The results are promising thus the safety and effectiveness of treatments for adults are also appropriate for children.