Articles about ASD

Many people suffer from autism. At the Estepona Hyperbaric Centre we have a team that specialises in the treatment of children with autism.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are among the so-called neurodevelopmental disorders. They are characterized by alterations in relation to communication and social interaction, as well as fixed interests and repetitive behaviours.

In this compilation of articles we will bring you information about autism. To do this we will talk about topics as interesting and necessary as the normalization of this disease, what it is and how it is defined, symptoms, types of autism, autism in adults and children, the origin and causes … and much more information that we will create to nourish this section of our blog.

In addition, we will talk about cases of autistic children who have passed through our center and have received oxygen therapy treatment. We will see how hyperbaric medicine has helped them and what changes they and their family have noticed.

Symptoms of Autism

Although every child with autism is different, it is true that there are a number of signs or symptoms of autism that are common and easy to recognize for anyone close to the patient.

Symptoms of Autism in Children

To put it simply, autism is a neurological disorder that mainly affects social, communicative and linguistic skills. This implies that the child has trouble interacting with other children, as soon as he speaks or his first words take a long time to arrive, and does not usually make eye contact.

According to the Spanish Autism Confederation, the symptoms of autism can be structured according to the age of the child resulting in the following three groups:

Up to 12 months

  • Does not react when called by name
  • He doesn’t play social games like “cuckoo-trastrastras.”
  • Does not babble
  • Does not make gestures in relation to his environment to pick up or point at objects

Between the ages of 12 and 18 months

To the previous demonstrations should be added the following:

  • Doesn’t talk or try to say easy words like dad, mom, or water.
  • Diverts the look and makes no eye contact
  • Does not interact with objects, animals, family…etc.
  • Doesn’t point or gesture either
  • Sometimes he has unusual responses to sound stimuli.

Around 24 months

  • Does not speak in sentences of more than two words, does not imitate or reproduce other people’s words or expressions.
  • Has difficulty maintaining eye contact when spoken to, and does not follow objects with the gaze.
  • He doesn’t engage in play with other children, and he doesn’t seem to like being with other people.

It must be very clear that if a child has any of these symptoms in isolation, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is autistic. If any of these signs are detected, the recommendation is to see a specialist who will evaluate the child and determine his or her condition.

Treatment of Autism in Children

At the Estepona Hyperbaric Center we specialize in the treatment of children with autism with oxygen therapy. The first medical consultation is free of charge.

What is autism?

Uno de los tratamientos principales que tenemos en el Centro Hiperbárico de Estepona es la oxigenoterapia hiperbárica neurológica. Más concretamente, nos hemos especializado en el tratamiento de personas con autismo, sobretodo en la aplicación en niños.

Because of this, we wanted to talk about this disorder so that we can better understand what it encompasses and what it means for a person to have it in their day-to-day life.

Definición de Autismo

ASD, or autism spectrum disorder, can often result in incomprehension for people who have it.

If we ask ourselves what autism is, in the Spanish Autism Confederation, they define it in the following way:

ASD is a disorder of neurobiological origin that affects the configuration of the nervous system and brain functioning, giving rise to difficulties in two main areas: communication and social interaction and flexibility of thought and behavior.

About ASD. Autismo España

It must be understood that when we speak of autism we do so from the perspective of a set of alterations, which affect each patient to different degrees and in different ways. In a generic way it can be established that this disorder affects brain functioning and neurodevelopment, which results in difficulties in social integration, behavior and communication, among other conditions.

When did autism arise?

The term autism was first coined in 1988 by Lorna Wing, defining it as the alteration it causes:

1- Disorder in the capacities of social recognition.2- Disorder in the capacities of social communication.3- Repetitive patterns of activity, tendency to routine and difficulties in social imagination.

Autism in Spain

Although there are no exact figures, it is estimated that around 450,000 people live with this disorder in Spain, including men, women and, above all, children. Moreover, according to data from the Spanish Association of Autism Professionals (AETAPI), 1 out of every 100 children is born with ASD.

Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder with Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric medicine achieves greater sociability and an increase in its connection with the family and its environment, in people who suffer this neurological alternation. The first consultation is free of charge with our doctor, who will evaluate your case and recommend the best treatment for each patient.

People with autism feel the same level of empathy as the rest of the population.

The belief that people with autism are “cold” and “unable to empathize” continues to spread today, a stereotype associated with all autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but although widespread, it is not real.
Stereotypes associated with all autism spectrum disorders

In fact, this myth is given by the confusion of the population between ASD and alexithymia, a trait that defines the inability to identify one’s own emotions as well as those of others and that although it is very common among the population with autism (around 50%) it can be shown in any person.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the International Centre for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, Italy, people with autism who face a moral dilemma respond in a similar way to the rest of the population. That is, they have the same level of empathy.
People with autism do care about the suffering of others

This is how Indrajeet Patil, co-author of the research published in Scientific Reports, explains: “It is not true that people with autism do not care about the suffering of others. In fact, and according to our studies, it is exactly the opposite: the autistic trait is associated with an abnormal empathy towards others and, even, is associated with a greater tendency to avoid causing harm to others. This erroneous stereotype is mostly explained by another personality construct called alexithymia, which is commonly found among people with autism but can also affect people without ASD.

During the study, researchers subjected people with high-functioning autism (with a high IQ) to a hypothetical situation in which the decision they make can save lives while involving the sacrifice of others. The classic moral dilemma in which one must decide to intervene to save the lives of numerous people at the cost of the death of a single individual, or on the contrary, to do nothing, which would prevent the single individual from dying, but which in turn would lead to many people dying.

There are two possible reactions to this dilemma: the first, purely rational, pushes us to intervene voluntarily, to assume an action justified by “usefulness”. But the second, more empathic, pushes us to do nothing and, in this way, we would avoid causing a death voluntarily. In this context, the authors developed an advanced statistical model to differentiate the traits of autism and alexithymia by subjecting them to a “moral dilemma”.

The results showed that alexithymia is mostly associated with a “useful” intervention that moves away from empathy, while autism is related to an increase in personal distress and therefore a greater choice not to intervene, which shows empathy.

As Indrajeet Patil points out, “autism is associated with strong emotional stress in response to situations in which the individual tends to avoid actions that may be harmful to others.