By Surumya Bhargava
Did you know…
About 1% of the world has autism
Autism affects about 1 in 68 children in the United States
There is no cure for Autism, but around 13% of kids “lose their diagnosis” and don’t show symptoms of being on the spectrum
Autism is about 4 times more likely in boys than girls
There are many contributing factors to Autism including genes, early brain development, and the environment
Autism can be reliably diagnosed by age 2, but children may be diagnosed at earlier ages
By 2025 it is projected 1 in 25 children will have Autism
Autism is the #1 developmental disability in the United States
Lifetime cost of supporting an individual with Autism-$3.2 million
A new case of Autism is diagnosed every 20 minutes
Autism is a lifelong disability
1 out of 42 boys are now diagnosed with Autism
It takes about 1,000 trials to learn a new skill
WHAT IS AUTISM?
“Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.”
- Lack of or delay in spoken language
- Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (ex: hand-flapping)
Difficulties with fine motor skills
- Little or no eye contact
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
- Abnormal responce to sensations
- Unusual ways of relating to people
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Autism vs. Aspergers
Those with Autism often have a language delay and have a below average IQ
Autism can be detected early in childhood before age 5
Autism has more communication delays
Those with Aspergers learn to talk in expected timing and usually have an above average IQ
Aspergers usually remains undiagnosed until about age 11
Aspergers has less severe symptoms than Autism
Most people with Aspergers don’t have cognitive delays, but do struggle with motor skills and be clumsy like others with Autism
Myth: All people with Autism have the same skills and difficulties
Reality: Autism is a spectrum. Like many other disorders, each person’s experience is completely different and can be similar in some symptoms or have no overlap at all. The term “Autism” presents an idea of what usually characterizes it, but can have many exceptions to it
Myth: People with Autism do not have other disorders or conditions
Reality: Many with Autism do not appear to have other conditions, but doesn’t mean they are any less likely to have additional diagnosis. Some common ones are Intellectual Disability, Epilepsy, and Fragile X Syndrome.
Myth: All people with Autism have an intellectual disability
Reality: Although people with Autism can have an intellectual disability and tend to have below average IQ scores, not everyone with Autism has an intellectual disability.
Myth: Children with Autism do not speak
Reality: Kids with autism often experience a delay in language and speech so therefore may find it hard to communicate verbally. However, kids with Autism can and do learn how to speak, but may result as an unusual style of communication.
Myth: People with Autism do not experience the full range of emotions
Reality: People with Autism may have a hard time expressing themselves, express themselves differently or not be as quick to pick up on emotional and social cues from others. Regardless of how hard it might be to express, everyone with Autism experiences every emotion.
HOW IS AUTISM CHANGING?
Psychologists are constantly changing the definition of Autism. In efforts to make a more accepting and precise definition, it appears the formal definition has only gotten more vague and put more people under the umbrella of an Autism diagnosis.
HOW ARE WE HELPING?
There are schools specifically dedicated to kids with special needs. UCP (United Cerebral Palsy) is a charter school and they focus on individualized care for each student and how to help them succeed. Along with forms of therapy provided at places such as Brain Balance Achievement Centers, we are learning how to help those with Autism more efficiently.
People Said to have Autism
People Said to have Aspergers
IT HELPS TO BE AWARE!
With more knowledge and awareness, we can be prepared to help each other and one another. We are all people with our own quirks. Don’t let Autism be any different.
Albert, Sarah. “Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/brain/autism/features/asperger-syndrome-autism.
“Autism vs Aspergers Syndrome.” Aspergers Test Site, 9 Feb. 2015, www.aspergerstestsite.com/906/autism-aspergers/.
Bhargava, Surumya. “Autistic Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” YouTube, 27 Mar. 2017, youtu.be/VJxj9pdK_do.
“Brain Balance.” Brain Balance Achievement Centers, www.brainbalancecenters.com/.
Chrisafis, Angelique. “France Unveils €340m Plan to Improve Rights of People with Autism.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 6 Apr. 2018, www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/06/france-to-unveil-340m-plan-to-improve-rights-of-people-with-autism.
“Common Misconceptions.” Autism Association of Western Australia, www.autism.org.au/what-is-autism/common-misconceptions/.
“Home.” Autism Society of Greater Orlando, asgo.org/.
“What Is Autism?” Autism Society, www.autism-society.org/what-is/.