April is Autism Awareness month, and today, April 2nd 2009, is World Autism Day!
Autism is a developmental disability that generally occurs before the age of three. There are different degrees of autism, but all affect a persons behavior, social, and communication skills. Autism is more common than childhood cancer and AIDS combined. Can you believe that? It is the fastest growing disability in the United States, affecting 1 in 150 children (Center For Disease Control, 2007.) It is diagnosed four times more often in boys than girls.
As of yet, there is no known cause for this disability. Researches believe it is part environmental factors and part genetics, although no autism gene has been found, therefore it is believed that something triggers the gene
to “turn autism on.” It is unknown on so many levels, but there is still an overwhelming amount of information and research on it. There is no cure for autism, but with early intervention and diagnosis children can make a significant improvement. The key is finding the signs and symptoms
early, so they can be treated and addressed as necessary as soon as possible.
Individuals with autism may have the following traits:
- Difficulty mixing in with others
- Uneven fine motor skills
- Prefers to be alone
- Little or no eye contact
- Repeating words or phrases in place of normal language
- Difficulty in expressing needs
- Non responsive to verbal cues
- Does not respond to name
A complete criteria of how autism is diagnosed can be found here.
For more information, please visit the following sites:
Spreading awareness is the first step. If you learn anything at all from this post, please pass it on so that in turn, more education and awareness will be made known. We have to spread the knowledge- one person at a time.