Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a bio-neurological developmental disability, that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges that generally appears before the age of 3. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less. Here we share, Jas Ahuja on 20 facts of Autism!
1. People with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people.
2. A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome. These conditions are now all called autism spectrum disorder.
3. Autism is approximately four times more common in boys than in girls.
4. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities
5. No two people on the autism spectrum are alike.
6. It may be caused by a genetic susceptibility to an environmental insult.
7. The genes themselves may have been affected by something in the environment, even before conception.
8. 1 out of 50 children suffer from autism.
9. The average delay in obtaining a diagnosis of autism is generally 16 months. The delay refers to the time between a parent’s first suspicion of something being not quite right with their child and obtaining a diagnosis.
10. Individuals with autism often suffer from numerous co-morbid medical conditions which may include: allergies, asthma, epilepsy, digestive disorders, persistent viral infections, feeding disorders, sensory integration dysfunction, sleeping disorders, and more.
11. About 40% of children with autism do not speak. About 25%–30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them. Others might speak, but not until later in childhood.
12. The rate of autism has steadily grown over the last twenty years, Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder.
13. Currently there is no cure for autism, though it is treatable with early intervention (is the key), the diverse symptoms related to autism can be greatly improved and in some cases completely overcome.
14. About 5% of all children with autism are likely to carry the Fragile X gene on the X chromosome.
15. The economic cost of autism now is 20 Billion/year, in one country Australia.
16. Typical ASD behaviors include stereotyped actions (hand flapping, body rocking), insistence on sameness, resistance to change and, in some cases, aggression or self-injury.
17. Individuals with ASD suffer from cognitive impairments, though some have typical or above average IQs.
18. Through twin studies, scientists have determined that autism is a genetically based condition. For example, if one identical twin has autism then there is an 80-90% chance that the other twin will also be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The chance that fraternal twins will both be affected by ASD if one twin is afflicted is approximately 3-10%.
19. All children with autism can benefit from early intervention, and some may gain enough skills to be able to attend a mainstream school. The most effective treatments available today are applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and occupational, speech and physical therapy, which have proven to be the most effective.
20. Although autism is commonly diagnosed in children, it is possible that an ASD does not go diagnosed until adolescence or adulthood. In this population, autism manifests itself as difficulties in socialization, atypical communication, and restricted mental flexibility.
- Anxiety in social situations
- Trouble empathizing
- Difficulty understanding body language, gestures, facial expressions, social innuendos
- Trouble forming and maintaining relationships
- Difficulty making conversation (particularly chatting, making small talk)
- Trouble understanding or practicing socially appropriate behaviors
- Trouble understanding double meanings
- Anxiety in group settings
- Tendency to interpret information too literally
- Difficulty making eye contact
- Restricted or unique interests (such as obsessions with dictionaries or encyclopedia facts)
- Obsession with rigid routines and sameness
- Trouble making plans for the future