7 facts we should know on autism

Awareness of the condition will go a long way in helping the affected and also the caregivers

AUTISM is one the most prevalent developmental disorders worldwide. It is also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and it encompasses a variety of conditions that affect the brain’s development. ASD can cause problems in learning, social communication, interaction, and other areas. Although these problems can be found in others, they are more common in those with ASD. We look at seven facts about autism that you need to know as the United Nations celebrates World Autism Awareness Day on April 2.

1 Early diagnosis of autism is difficult because there are not specific medical tests such as a blood test. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA), ASD symptoms may be present in children as young as one year. However, an experienced professional can detect it by two years of age.

2 About one in 100 children may have autism, according to the World Health Organisation. However, this number could be much higher because reliable data isn’t available for many low and middle-income countries.

3) Although many children will display some symptoms in their first year of life, others may develop more severe symptoms over the next year. Young children with autism may not be able to make eye contact with their parents or respond to their name when they are called. They may speak in an unusual tone or repeat phrases or words without understanding them.

4)Children who have the condition may also exhibit behavioural patterns that could be deemed abnormal. This could include repetitive actions, harming their self without understanding the consequences like biting or banging on the wall. They may also spend a lot time staring at inanimate objects. Researchshows how atypical gaze patterns in kids may help doctors to identify autism before any other traits emerge.

5) Why is autism a problem? There could be many factors that cause autism, according to scientific evidence. These include genetic, environmental and biological. Evidence suggests that autism is more likely in children who were born to parents with ASD, have had complications at birth, or are siblings of someone with ASD.

6) The WHO states that early intervention can help reduce the symptoms of ASD in children who are diagnosed. Children with autism can communicate more effectively and interact socially through psychosocial interventions.

7) The World Health Assembly passed a resolution entitled Coordination of efforts to manage autism spectrum disorders in May 2014. This resolution was supported by over 60 countries. According to the resolution, people with autism must be protected from discrimination and social exclusion based on disability. WHO has made available an online version of their training program for caregivers who care for children with disabilities or developmental delays, including autism. Caregivers can enroll.

Autism, India

Action for Autism states that more than 18 million Indians fall on the autism spectrum. Action of Autismis a well-known Indian NGO that helps children with autism and their caregivers. It raises awareness and provides counselling services.

Thiruvananthapuram-based, Centre for Autism and other Disabilities Rehabilitation Research and Education (CADRRE) offers an intervention programme in a school setting to children from the age of 2 years to 16 years by an interdisciplinary team of speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, educators, art and music teachers and doctors.

Colours Learning Education Trust is committed to the cause autism. It runs the Colours Centre For Learning, which provides individual attention to each child and ensures that family members are involved in their child’s growth. This Bengaluru-based NGO offers a dedicated education and skilling center for autistic people of all ages and backgrounds

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