10:13 27th March 2018 | Autism
Worldwide, there is not nearly enough services and support available for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and they are often subject to stigma, discrimination and human rights violations.
World Autism Awareness Day, observed annually on 2 April, hopes to continue increasing public awareness about autism and the day-to-day issues faced by individuals with ASD.
In this blog post we will give an overview of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by looking at the definition, signs of autism, a few facts and recommended resources.
Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder. It influences how an affected person communicates with and relates to others and how they make sense of the world around them. Various combinations of genetic, environmental and unknown factors are believed to cause ASD.
Autism spectrum disorder is the name for a group of conditions characterised by unique strengths and differences as well as challenges with:
There are many types of autism. The word “spectrum” indicates the wide variation in challenges and strengths each person with autism has.
In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association placed the following disorders under the umbrella diagnosis of ASD:
All parents, caregivers and educators should be encouraged to learn the early signs of autism along with child developmental milestones. The following observations may indicate risk for ASD and should be discussed with a pediatrician or family doctor immediately:
Between 2 and 3 years of age is usually when the most obvious signs show up, but autism can even be diagnosed as early as 18 months. If developmental delays are noticed earlier, they should be addressed immediately since early intervention can greatly improve outcomes.
There are amazing resources for parents, caregivers and concerned adults who want to understand developmental milestones, learn how to screen for autism symptoms and access proper services.
Effective interventions for people with ASD cannot happen in isolation. Awareness and understanding need to increase and we need to make physical, social and attitudinal environments more accessible, inclusive and supportive.
PLEASE NOTE: The information above does not and should not replace personal consultation, when and where relevant, with a qualified healthcare professional.
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