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Autism: What You Need to Know

  • July 27, 2017
  • 3-Minute Read

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is not actually a single definite disorder, it is actually a range of possible permutations of developmental conditions affecting information processing in the brain. These disorders involve, in varying degrees, difficulty with social interaction, difficulty with communication and repetitive behaviors.

In 2014 the CDC released a study that identified 1 in 68 children as having ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), 1 in 42 for boys and 1 in 189 for girls.

Studies in Asia, Europe, and North America have identified individuals with ASD with an average prevalence of between 1% and 2%.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also says:

About 1 in 6 children in the United Sates had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.

Which means that developmental disabilities are very common, comparing to autism itself. If you are in suspicion that your child might be having some difficulties rest assured that some developmental disabilities are much more common, and always have your kid checked, it will give you information on how best to help him.

Risk Factors
  • Studies show that among identical twins, if one child has Autism then the other has 36%-95% of chance of being affected. In non-identical twins the chance is from 0%-31%.
  • Parents who already have a child with Autism have 2%-18% chance of having another with Autism.
  • About 44% of children with Autism have average to above average intellectual ability.
  • Children born to older parents are at higher risk for having Autism.

Children can be diagnosed reliably as early as 2 years of age, varying depending on the sub-type present.

Sub-types
  • Asperger's Syndrome: People with Asperger's tend to have normal or above normal intellectual ability, mostly having difficulty with the social aspect of life.
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder: This is the most common sub-type of autism, which includes atypical autism, in other words, not readily categorized but having the characteristics of autism.
  • Autistic Disorder: This one involves the symptoms characteristic of Autism at a much more intense level than the first two sub-types.

The development of children with autism depends a lot on the environment and the instruction level of their parents. Their genes are already set upon birth, but the way they are brought up can negate mild cases and give a functional and productive life to severely affected people.

We have to be aware that the contrary is also true, bad parenting can make their whole lives miserable. Not only parents but all the people that interact with them can have an effect on them, there is no reason to make their lives harder than it already is.

We need to give them the opportunity to lead normal lives; not by putting them on a pedestal, but by giving them a fighting chance, we can surprise ourselves by what they can do.