World Autism Awareness Day
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism is a neurological developmental condition, which means that the brain develops differently, some parts faster and some parts slower. Autistic people see, feel and connect with the world differently and that doesn’t make them less valuable. Autism affects every part of their life, not just one or two and it hasn’t a cure, you are born with it and it becomes a part of who you are. Feeling different is not easy, so it is very important that we all make an effort to make them feel loved and accepted by who they are.
Autism is considered a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), among which we also find Asperger Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
Austim affects every person differently. Nevertheless, it is characterized by a lack of social communication and interaction, and a restricted or repetitive behavior, interests or activities.
Referring to social communication and interaction, there are four main characteristics. First of all, social reciprocity, which reffers to how a child responds and reciprocates in social interactions. Basically, how the behavior of one person influences on the other. For example, in kids with autism, we can see that they preffer being alone rather than playing with other kids. Secondly, we have joint attention, which means that they don’t want to share their interests with others. People with autism find it very hard to use and interpretate nonverbal communication. Lastly, they have problems developing and maintaining friends.
The other major area is restricted or repetitive behavior, interests and activities. They can get fixed by certain routines or restricted patterns of interest.
Causes and types
It is known that there’s no one cause of autism. Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and nongenetic, or environmental, influences.
These influences appear to increase the risk that a child will develop autism. However, it’s important to understand that increased risk doesn’t mean cause. For instance, some gene changes associated with autism can also be found in people who don’t have the disorder. Similarly, not everyone exposed to an environmental risk factor for autism will develop the disorder. In fact, most will not.
There are different types of autisms. 1, 2 or 3 depending on how much support does the person need. In level 1, the person needs some support. It is difficult for them to converse and finish the sentences. Moreover, they find it really hard to switch activities. Progressively the dependence increases until reaching level 3, in which they need very substantial support. They can only say a few words and they rarely interact. Also, they are extremely resistant to change and their daily life is really affected by their repetitive and restrictive behavior. You can watch this video for simple and accurate information about Autism.
Diagnoses of Autism require input from caretakers and its management is highly individualized.
There can be genetic risk factors and environmental risk factors.
International Autism Day
World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day on 2 April every year. Its main goal is to raise awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) throughout the world.
This day is important because Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the world. People need to be familiar to it, understand the disability and not be frightened by it. During the entire month of April, many activities and events take place. You’ll hear about autism-oriented fundraisers, autism awareness presentations, autism-friendly happenings, and special opportunities to recognize people on the autism spectrum.
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