Neurologist, Dr. Willem, speaks to Baby&Child and answers the frequently asked questions about autism spectrum disorder. Dr Willem Van der Kamp is a certified neurologist and neurophysiologist at the German Neuroscience Center in Dubai with more than 30 years professional experience in treating children and adults with neurological disorders.
What is autism? How common is it in the UAE?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis/intervention and access to appropriate services/supports lead to significantly improved outcomes. Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities. Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors or just a few, or many others besides. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity. Incidence rates in the UAE compare to the rest of the world – about 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder. (CDC, 2014); 1 percent of the adult population of the United Kingdom has autism spectrum disorder.
What causes autism?
There is no known single cause for autism spectrum disorder, but it is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function.
Read the full originally published article in Baby&Child
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Pediatric or child neurology is the part of medicine taking care of younger patients suffering from neurological disorders. Neurological disorders are diseases of the human nerve system. The nerve system is divided in central nerve system (brain and spine) and peripheral nerve system (nerves of the head, trunk and limbs).