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29/Nov/2022

Obsessive Interest In Autism Spectrum Disorder

Many autistic people have intense and highly focused interests, often from a fairly young age. These can change over time or be lifelong. It can be art, music, gardening, animals, or numbers. For many younger children it might be a particular cartoon character or some characters that might interest them. Autistic children and teenagers can be very intense and focused about favourite toys, activities and topics of conversation. Some children move from one interest or obsession to another, and the interests last for weeks or months before they change. Others develop an interest – for example, in trains – in early childhood and continue this interest through adolescence and into adulthood.

Some autistic children and teenagers have rituals. For example, some children might keep favourite objects in specific places, like the bottom corner of a drawer in the bedroom. They might have to get their objects out and touch them before bed. Or they might drink only from cups or ask the same questions and always need specific answers. Routines are often important to autistic children and teenagers.

They can find change and transitions difficult to cope with. They might like to eat, sleep, or leave the house in the same way every time. For example, children might go to bed happily if you follow their regular bedtime routines but won’t settle if the routines are broken. They might get very upset if their route to preschool is changed, or they might insist on putting their clothes on in the same order each morning. We don’t know what causes obsessive behaviour or the need for routines and rituals. The cause might not be the same for everyone.

Also, obsessions, routines and rituals help some autistic children manage stress and anxiety. When they feel stressed because they don’t understand what’s going on around them, obsessions and rituals let them take some control of their surroundings. Sensory sensitivities can lead to some autistic children developing obsessions and rituals. For example, children might stroke people’s hair whenever they can because they enjoy the sensation, or it helps them feel calm. And some autistic children have trouble with planning, so having a rigid routine or ritual helps comfort them and relieves feelings of stress and anxiety.

At Jeevaniyam we handle autistic children’s obsessions, routines, and rituals. Jeevaniam offers the best autism treatment in Kerala, India. We give trainings to both parents and children so that the child and the families can live with daily obsessive behaviour, routines, and rituals without much of difficulty. Our trained doctors and therapist help the child and the family to identify and answer the following questions:

  • Is your child’s behaviour affecting their ability to learn?
  • Is your child’s behaviour affecting their social life?
  • Is your child’s behaviour affecting your family’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities, or to go on holidays or trips?
  • How would you feel if this behaviour is the same in a few years?
  • Is your child’s behaviour causing harm to themselves or others?

These questions might help you decide whether it’s worth trying to change things. And if you decide you want to work on your child’s obsessions and routines, your answers might help you work out what to focus on. It will be easy to develop a plan to manage your child’s obsessions, rituals and routines, it’s a good idea to think about your child’s developmental level and communication skills.

For example,

Does your child have the communication skills to understand your instructions?
Working out what’s causing your child’s behaviour might also guide your next steps. Is it sensory?

Or

Does your child feel anxious when faced with the unknown?

We might be able to manage the sensory issues or the anxiety, which could lead to a decrease in the behaviour. If your child’s behaviour isn’t affecting their life or other people in a negative way, but you still want to decrease it, you could consider setting some limits on the behaviour.


mental-health-1200x800.webp
21/Nov/2022

Mental Health & Autism Children

Autism is not a mental health(MH) problem, but autistic children can have good and bad (MH) like anyone else. It’s a developmental condition that affects how they see the world and how they interact with other people. Children with autism do often experience mental health problems. seven out of ten autistic people have a (MH) condition such as anxietydepression or OCD. It can be challenging to untangle autism and co-occurring mental health conditions.

The co-occurrence of mental health disorders among autistic children can complicate how clinicians understand the child’s behaviour, evaluate interventions they are participating in, and provide strategies for supporting them. When an child is showing signs of distress, knowing the cause of the symptoms can be rather challenging. For example, an autistic child in the classroom may begin to engage in disruptive behaviour, such as ripping up their paper. The teacher or other support staff may assume this behaviour is a result of autism; however, the child may be displaying an anxious behaviour because they do not understand the task at hand. There is little research into why this is, but it may be because autistic people:

  • Can struggle to try to fit into or make sense of the world, which can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety
  • May face delays in getting their mental health problems diagnosed
  • Children are more likely to face stigma and discrimination
  • Children are less likely to have appropriate support available. For example, group therapy might not be suitable for some autistic people, or therapists might not know how to adapt their approach to helping an autistic person

Research has shown that autistic youth with co-occurring anxiety, depression, OCD, and/or eating disorders often have difficulties in regulating emotions. Emotional dysregulation is the inability to adjust or control one’s emotions, making calming down and/or identifying one’s feelings much harder. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown positive results for assisting autistics to understand their emotions and develop the skills to manage their emotions. It is important for parents to have a positive and open communicative.

At Jeevaniyam, we support autistic children with co-occurring mental health conditions by understanding the triggers instead of making vague assumptions with the help of our doctors and supporting staff and digging into the root cause of the problems. Because of emotional dysregulation, autistic individuals are more likely to use maladaptive and involuntary emotional regulation methods, if an individual’s triggers have been addressed and supported yet the individual still demonstrates symptoms of anxiety, professionals should consider evidence-based treatments to provide the individual with healthier regulation methods. Getting an autism diagnosis with our team and developing a better understanding of themselves has helped many autistic individuals with depression to improve the overall mental health.


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