Today is World Autism Awareness Day. It is an internationally recognized day on 2 April every year, encouraging Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) throughout the world. The day brings individual autism organizations together all around the world to aid in things like research, diagnoses, treatment, and overall acceptance for those affected by this developmental disorder. A vital statistic to note is that in current times, incidence of Autism has increased manifold and now this no cure disorder ( not disease) affects every 1 child in 60 worldwide.
Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviours. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It covers a large spectrum of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment. ASD ranges in severity from a handicap that somewhat limits an otherwise normal life to a devastating disability that may require institutional care.
Children with autism have trouble communicating. They have trouble understanding what other people think and feel. This makes it very hard for them to express themselves either with words or through gestures, facial expressions, and touch
A child with ASD who is very sensitive may be greatly troubled -- sometimes even pained -- by sounds, touches, smells, or sights that seem normal to others. Children who are autistic may have repetitive, stereotyped body movements such as rocking, pacing, or hand flapping. They may have unusual responses to people, attachments to objects, resistance to change in their routines, or aggressive or self-injurious behavior.
At times they may seem not to notice people, objects, or activities in their surroundings. Some children with autism may also develop seizures. And in some cases, those seizures may not occur until adolescence. Some people with autism are cognitively impaired to a degree. In contrast to more typical cognitive impairment, which is characterized by relatively even delays in all areas of development, people with autism show uneven skill development. They may have problems in certain areas, especially the ability to communicate and relate to others. But they may have unusually developed skills in other areas, such as drawing, creating music, solving math problems, or memorizing facts. For this reason, they may test higher -- perhaps even in the average or above-average range -- on nonverbal intelligence tests.
Symptoms of autism typically appears during the first three years of life. Some children show signs from birth. Others seem to develop normally at first, only to slip suddenly into symptoms when they are 18 to 36 months old. However, it is now recognized that some individuals may not show symptoms of a communication disorder until demands of the environment exceed their capabilities. Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls. It knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries. Family income, lifestyle, or educational levels do not affect a child's chance of being autistic.
Over 1% of world population as on date is suffering from ASD. We need more and more Awareness and Acceptance for such children/adults so that they can expect to lead a normal life with all their limitations. These children do not usually find acceptance in mainstream schools, often subjected to bullying that damages their already very raw condition. Not only in schools, these children gets subjected to all forms of ridicule, bullying elsewhere in the social environment, making it extremely difficult for these children/adults to lead a normal life. The only solution to the problems are a proper awareness of Autism, its symptoms, its acceptance and showing a lot of love and care to such affected people on ASD.
World Autism Awareness day is a small endeavour in this regards. If you see young children in your circles suffering from any of the above symptoms please request to be sensitive to the issues and take medical/specialist consultations / advice the children’s parents to get them checked. Early intervention has better chances of recovery.
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