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April 02, 2022 3 min read

World Autism Awareness Day

What is autism?

There is no one type of autism, but many.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopment condition that impacts how a person interacts and communicates with the world around them. A lifelong condition that typically presents during infancy, a person with autism are challenged by conventional learning, social interactions, and repetitive behaviors. This can significantly impact their and their loved ones’ daily lives, confidence, and self-esteem, especially if the condition is undiagnosed or appropriate strategies are not in place to support them.

Autism presents differently in different people and can vary in severity. Many people on the autism spectrum can live completely independently, others need support in multiple aspects of their daily life. Yet certain qualities are present in almost every person on the autism spectrum: honesty, and ability to live in the present, unwavering passion, photographic or near-perfect memory, and more.

Autism is a lifelong neurological condition that manifests during early childhood, irrespective of gender, race, or socioeconomic status. The term Autism Spectrum refers to a range of characteristics. Appropriate support, accommodation, and acceptance of this neurological variation allow those on the Spectrum to enjoy equal opportunity, and full and effective participation in society.

Autism is mainly characterized by its unique social interactions, non-standard ways of learning, keen interests in specific subjects, inclination to routines, challenges in typical communications, and particular ways of processing sensory information.

The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high and the lack of understanding has a tremendous impact on individuals, their families, and communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the United States today.

What causes autism?

  • Research indicates that genetics are involved in the vast majority of cases.
  • Children born to older parents are at a higher risk of having autism.
  • Parents who have a child with ASD have a 2 to 18 percent chance of having a second child who is also affected.
  • Studies have shown that among identical twins if one child has autism, the other will be affected about 36 to 95 percent of the time. In non-identical twins, if one child has autism, then the other is affected about 31 percent of the time.
  • Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism.

Intervention and Cares

  • Early intervention can improve learning, communication, and social skills, as well as underlying brain development.
  • Applied behavior analysis (ABA) and therapies based on its principles are the most researched and commonly used behavioral interventions for autism.
  • Many children affected by autism also benefit from other interventions such as speech and occupational therapy.
  • Developmental regression, or loss of skills, such as language and social interests, affects around 1 in 5 children who will go on to be diagnosed with autism and typically occurs between ages 1 and 3.

Having an autistic child can put a lot of strain on you and your family. You might need to spend a lot of time helping your child get the support they need. This can be very stressful and exhausting. It may be hard to make time for the rest of your family and can affect your relationships with each other.

Autism can present many challenges to a child’s daily life. In particular, it can impact how they engage their socializing with others. Your position as a parent gives you the perfect opportunity to help them overcome these barriers and get the most out of their education.

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