Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder often face other disorders also. These disorders are also called co-occurring disorders. Children with autism are more prone to get these disorders. This makes it quite difficult to handle. Often the co-occurring disorders are ignored as the symptoms are either too mild or they are too similar to autism itself.
Ignoring these disorders can lead to more problems which can get too much for your child to handle. Children with autism are often not able to express themselves. So you also need to be alert.
Here are some of the co-occurring disorders that children with autism might have:
It is a disorder where your child can have uncontrollable shivers. This directly affects the nervous system. It can cause severe problems especially for children with autism.
In Epilepsy, you child can have sudden movements and severe headaches. Your child can also show signs of disturbed sleep, feel sleepy, and have extreme emotions.
If this disorder in children with autism is not treated it can also lead to brain damage. Thus, it is important that parents, therapists, and teachers are aware of this. The parent needs to be there with the child at all times.
Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Another common disorder that co-occurs with ASD is ADHD. It affects about 40 to 60 percent of children with autism.
Symptoms of ADHS are inattention, frequent daydreaming, and inability to remember things. This can severely hamper learning and education. Children with ADHD also cannot concentrate.
It can be quite hard to know if your child with autism also has ADHD. The symptoms of both are quite similar. But if you do see signs like lack of attention or hyperactivity, then consult your therapist.
Anxiety disorders are quite common in children with autism. This is mainly because children with autism have difficulty understanding their own emotions. They are also unable to express and tell how they are feeling.
Your child will probably not tell you or even know how to express. So, check how your child behaves. Children with anxiety will feel their heart racing, they start to sweat and even urinate.
Children with autism also find it hard to control their anxiety. Anxiety can happen by different things at different periods. It can also be because of an activity that your child once enjoyed.
Depression rates among children with autism are on the rise. Parents can’t see it, as children with autism stay in their world. They do not engage in conversations.
To understand if your child with autism is also suffering from depression, you need to check for some signs. This includes sudden loss in interest in activities they once loved. It is a long feeling of sadness, loss of hope, and irritability.
Depression can also lead to continuous thoughts of suicide. Please consult a therapist if you think your child is also suffering from depression.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is another disorder in children suffering from autism. This disorder is also identified as performing repetitive behaviors. It is also a symptom of autism.
If you see your child getting more irritable. If they are engaging in more repeated actions, then consult a therapist.
This disorder makes people jump between a stage of excessive happiness to sudden periods of depression.
It can be hard for children suffering from autism. With a lack of social skills, children with autism might not be able to express.
To know if your child is also suffering from this disorder, you need to check every action and feeling of your child. Bipolar disorders in children with autism are difficult to treat. You need to talk to the therapists.
Children with autism have high rates of sleep issues. About 80% of children with autism also have sleep disorders. They can find it hard to sleep. Or end up waking up too often in between their sleep cycle.
This can be because of anxiety and depression than children with autism might face. It disturbs their sleep. They lie awake worrying. Sleeping disorders can also be because your child has not yet understood the schedule. They do not know when to sleep.
To help your child with autism to sleep effectively you can use these tips:
- Make sure the sleep and waking up schedule is consistent. Even on the weekends.
- Create a healthy bedtime routine and stick to it.
- Make sure the room is dark and cool.
- Ensure that your child is getting proper physical exercise during the day.
Children with ASD often also suffer from digestive disorders. This includes diarrhea and constipation. This can also hamper your child’s sleep and their education. It can also cause behavioral problems.
Children with autism can also have food allergies which can lead to digestive disorders. You can try removing wheat products and dairy from the diet. You can use organic and natural products.
Some other signs that your child with autism is also suffering from digestive disorders are:
- Refusing to chew or swallow food
- Hitting themselves on the jaw
- Chewing too much
- Tapping their chin continuously
- Binge eating
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Chewing their clothes
- Coughing too much
Children with autism are also at risk of asthma, immunity disorders, and even schizophrenia. All of these disorders can co-occur with ASD. As a parent, you need to keep checking your child continuously. If you see any symptoms or signs of the other disorders then talk to your therapist immediately.