Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) , as the name suggests, is not one single condition that is defined by a distinct set of symptoms and characteristics, but rather a wide range of qualities and behaviors that differ amongst individuals. Autism is frequently misunderstood and stigmatized, and it is often left undiagnosed and untreated for many years. Through professionals, autism can be diagnosed in early childhood, allowing for tools and resources to be applied as soon as possible in some cases. In recent years, experts have focused much more on the benefits of neuroplasticity for children with autism, and how it can be used to their advantage. We’re going to go into detail for you today about the relationship that exists between ASD and the fascinating topic of neuroplasticity.
Autism is a condition that is often characterized by difficulty with social situations, issues with processing and recognizing emotions, and atypical speech development and patterns. Some cases can of course be more severe than others and can be detected during childhood. Through neuroplasticity, the brain has the capacity to relearn certain abilities and processes, as well as boost and strengthen the connections between neurons. The brain has the highest degree of plasticity during childhood, though it may be interrupted prematurely within children living with ASD. Neuroplasticity can still be harnessed and employed in adolescents with autism, and when there is early intervention and channeling of neuroplasticity, the best outcomes and effects are seen. Neuroplasticity is the primary key for children with autism to rewire their brains through particular techniques and therapies, and the first five years of life are the most formative for doing so.
With an increased focus within the science community of how neuroplasticity plays a role in children with autism, we have a better understanding at just how much this phenomenal neural process can aid and benefit children that are navigating life with this condition. Autism is not curable and there isn’t a single known cause for it, but the degree of severity can certainly progress via brain plasticity and the most prominent symptoms can be minimized so that daily life is faced with less difficulty. Neuroplasticity can aid with the following ASD characteristics:
There are often issues with communication skills in children with autism, but there are now specific therapies that focus solely on implementing neuroplasticity to improve this difficulty. Regular sessions that employ brain training techniques to strengthen communication skills have shown to have considerable results in autistic children. Due to brain plasticity, children are often able to go from being nonverbal to having comfortable conversation and the ability to express their needs.
With ASD, emotional processing is often very difficult in children – both when it comes to expressing their own emotions and also with understanding others. Early intervention and the application of consistent neurotherapy can help children with autism rewire their brains to better regulate and comprehend their emotions, as well as understand other people when they are articulating or displaying how they feel, too.
Stimuli such as noises and colors can become overwhelming and difficult to process in individuals with ASD, but neuroplasticity can make it so that these stimuli are much more manageable and less overpowering. Through regulated exposure of stimuli in a controlled therapeutic setting, a child’s brain can adapt and strengthen its neural connections because of the high plasticity that is present during this time.
Utilizing the brain’s plasticity in the early years of life allows for the best probability of improving any issues that a child may be facing because of ASD. Certain processes are interrupted and disrupted because of ASD, but fortunately these disruptions can be significantly diminished thanks to neuroplasticity and our current understanding of it. The brain remains malleable and plastic throughout life, so the harnessing of this ability can always be applied and used to an individual’s advantage.
The brain’s resilience is nothing short of incredible, and the fact that it can still rewire itself and strengthen its neural networks when faced with neurological disorders is spectacular. Detecting disorders such as autism at the earliest possible age ensures that the highest level of plasticity is harnessed – which means that the biggest strides and improvements can take place during this time. When the necessary therapy and cognitive training are applied, significant changes are able to occur and the most prominent symptoms of ASD can be managed drastically.