It is April, which is Autism Awareness month. To be honest, I did not know a lot about Autism before doing this research. I think it is important that we all educate ourselves to at least know a bit about common conditions, so that we can be compassionate and make a difference. I think it is a very misunderstood condition. Autistic individuals are not “dumb” or “stupid;” many are incredibly intelligent. Read on to learn more.
I did a little bit of research to find out some basic facts about Autism. I found 2 websites that I particularly liked. Since we are all busy in our day-t-day lives, I have provided a bulleted list on facts I found important. Still, I highly encourage you to visit these sites to learn more and/or donate to Autism research.
Facts from Autism Speaks:
- Autism is a disorder of brain development.
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1 in 88 children in the United States are diagnosed with Autism ( a ten-fold increase in 40 years)
- Boys are 4 to 5 times more likely to be autistic.
- Although the exact cause for Autism is unknown, is has been found that most cases are caused between a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors.
- Research shows that the majority of cases involve events before and after birth, one way a woman can reduce the risk of her child having Autism is to ensure high intake of folic acid during pregnancy.
- No two Autism cases are the same; each individual has unique needs.
- 40 percent of autistic individuals have average or above average intellectual abilities.
- About 25 percent of autistic people cannot communicate verbally, but this certainly does not mean they cannot communicate in other ways.
Facts from the Autism Science Foundation:
- Typical autistic behaviors include: “stereotyped actions (hand flapping, body rocking), insistence on sameness, resistance to change and, in some cases, aggression or self-injury.”
- There is no exact test to diagnose Autism; diagnoses is based on behavioral symptoms, which can be first detected in infants as young as 6-18 months,
- Early intervention is helpful and there are treatments that have potential to lesson the symptoms, although there is no cure. The most effective treatments have found to be applied behavioral analysis and occupational, speech, and physical therapy.
- Autism does last a lifetime and these individuals will need support and services.
I am so happy that you took the time to read these facts. Knowledge is power. The more we know, the more we can do about it! Keep these facts in mind and if you have an opportunity make a difference by educating someone you know or by donating to research.