Although the majority of abandoned children are raised by supportive and loving families, some are less fortunate and are abandoned and raised in institutions. Recent research is suggesting that those children raised in institutions may be at an increased risk of developing behavior that is similar to that in children with autism.
Institutionalized Children Display Behaviors Of Autism
New research investigated the effects of early institutionalization of children and the resulting effects on their brain and behavior development. The study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Adolescent Psychiatry determined that children who were raised in institutions were more likely to develop social behaviors similar to those with autism, such as impaired social communication. Once the children were moved into child-centered foster care, those behaviors improved, suggesting that early intervention by foster care can improve the behaviors associated with autism.
Findings Raise Concern
There are approximately 8 million abandoned children who are being raised in institutions worldwide. Additionally, with 75% of US child abuse cases being classified as neglect, this issue is one that demands concern and attention.
Psychosocial Deprivation And Autism
Psychosocial deprivation that commonly occurs in institutional settings does not play a role in the vast majority of the cases of autism with children who are raised by caring families. And although the behaviors of the children with autism who were institutionalized resemble those behaviors in children with autism of the general population, the origins of their symptoms differ.
It is believed that both groups of children with autism suffer from deprivation, but from different types of deprivation. The deprivation the institutionalized children suffered stemmed from their environment, whereas in the children in the general population, their autism is the cause of a type of deprivation that makes it more difficult for them to perceive and understand different social cues.
Intervention Before 2 Years Is Suggested
Autism Spectrum Disorder is characterized by behavior that is typically repetitive and by social impairment such as difficulty with communicating. The symptoms of autism are commonly identified within the first 2 years of a child’s life. The researchers suggest that placing children in foster care before they reach the age of 2 years is optimal for enhancing their development.
Creating Brighter Futures Offers Comprehensive Support
Creating Brighter Futures offers your child individualized treatment for autism that is based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy methods. We guide not only your child, but we also guide your family through treatment, education and training programs that are geared toward real-life, everyday challenges that your family is facing. For more information about our therapy programs, call us at 734-926-0740 today.