We all know someone with autism. It can be found in all people around the world, regardless of race, economic status, ethnicity, or culture. But as Dr Stephen Shore, an autism advocate always says, when you meet one person with Autism, you meet one person with Autism.
No two people diagnosed with ASD are the same. Each person experiences the aspects of their handicap differently and has their own unique strengths and challenges. This article is a general overview of what everyone needs to know about autism. For additional information about disability in general, you can check out Ability Today.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
The term “autism spectrum disorder” (ASD) covers a large group of related conditions that have an impact on a person’s behaviour, social interaction, communication, and social interaction. ASD is a spectrum disorder, meaning it has a wide range of linked symptoms and traits.
Having said that, each person’s symptoms and level of severity differ. Autism does not have a single set of symptoms that affects all children and adults; instead, each individual displays a distinctive set of symptoms. ASD symptoms can however be divided into 3 broad categories. Children that exhibit at least two of these are normally diagnosed with autism.
- Problems with social interactions
- Communication problems
- Signs of limited recurring behaviour
Autism and Social Interaction
Children with autism typically have trouble interacting with others. Potential signs include:
- Indifference to their peers
- Struggling to hold a conversation
- Lack of emotional expression, especially around peers
- Avoiding direct eye contact or using their peripheral vision when looking at someone
- Inability to relate to or understand their peers
- Difficulty comprehending or predicting the behaviour of others
Autism and Communication
Children with autism frequently struggle with communication. Indicators of communication problems include speech and language development delays as well as:
- Having trouble deciphering nonverbal cues like facial expressions and body language
- Unresponsiveness to vocal prompts
- Struggling with pretend play or imaginative thinking
- Adopting an odd cadence when speaking or speaking in an emotionless voice
- Taking things at face value; not being able to grasp jokes, idioms, or phrases
- Being too or underly sensitive to sensory input
Limited Recurring Behavior
Limited recurrent behaviour, another word for repetitive behaviours, can show up in many aspects of a child’s life, not simply in communication. These behaviours frequently manifest as:
- Following a pattern religiously and being agitated if their routine is interrupted
- Extensive and unending discussion about a certain topic, frequently preventing others from speaking
- Hyper-concentration on particular objects, subjects, or activities
- Performing an action or activity repeatedly, such as opening and closing doors
- Repeating certain words or phrases over and over
Autism Myths Cleared
There are numerous myths surrounding autism spectrum condition (ASD). Dispelling the most widespread misconceptions about autism helps us educate others and raises awareness of the truth. Here are some common ones:
Myth 1: Autism Is a Disease
The idea that autism is a disease often comes from the misconception that it is contracted. Contrary to this opinion, ASD is a genetically predisposed neurodevelopmental condition. As such, there is no medication or particular diet that can treat it (although some therapies can help control some of the symptoms).
Myth 2: Autism Is Caused by Vaccines or Poor Parenting in Today’s Society
Yet another one of the most pervasive misconceptions regarding Autism. Autism is not a “new trend,” a result of poor parenting, or a response to vaccinations. Children and adults with autism exhibit symptoms like gastrointestinal problems, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and sleep disorders and these have nothing to do with parenting or vaccines.
Myth 3: Autism Cannot be Fixed
Yes, autism cannot be cured but symptoms can be improved. Several therapies and aids considerably enhance the lives of those who have ASD. For instance, early intervention supports the development of communication, self-care, and social skills throughout life.
Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) have proven to be effective at modifying undesirable behaviours. As such, autism games, toys, and skill-development software are flourishing thanks to smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Tell a Friend To Tell a Friend
The first step toward improving the lives of people with ASD is learning the facts about autism. And that’s something you and I need to take responsibility for.
People with autism frequently experience academic, social, job, and financial challenges because the illness affects many facets of life. We have to know how to help and handle them to make their lives because people of all ages, professions, and socioeconomic levels are impacted by autism!