Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a brain development disorder that affects how a person perceives and interacts with others, resulting in social interaction and communication issues. Limited and repetitive patterns of conduct are also part of the illness. In autism spectrum disorder, the term "spectrum" refers to the vast range of symptoms and severity.
A diagnosis of ASD now encompasses autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome, which were previously diagnosed individually.
All of these diseases are now referred to as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism spectrum disorder manifests itself in early life and leads to difficulties in social, educational, and occupational settings. Autism signs appear in youngsters as early as the first year of life. A tiny percentage of children appear to develop normally in the first year, but subsequently regress between the ages of 18 and 24 months, when they begin to show signs of autism.
Types of Autism:
Autism is a broad term that encompasses a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. If your child has autism, it's critical that one must understand the many varieties of autism and the symptoms that each presents.
Understanding the particular obstacles that each type of autism presents will aid you in assisting your child in coping with the disease. Asperger's syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, Kanner's syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified are the five basic kinds of autism.
Asperger’s Syndrome - A child with Asperger's spectrum condition will have above-average intelligence and great verbal skills, but social communication will be difficult for them. Common symptoms include - Inflexibility in thought and behaviour, Challenges in switching between activities, Executive functioning problems, and Difficulty interacting with peers at school or at home.
Rett Syndrome - Rett syndrome is an uncommon neurodevelopmental condition that develops in infancy. Although it is more common in girls, it can also be diagnosed in boys. Rett syndrome poses difficulties in nearly every element of a child's life. The good news is that with adequate care, your child can still enjoy and live a fulfilling life.
Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) - CDD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by delayed onset of developmental impairments in language, motor abilities, or social function. It is also known as Heller's syndrome or disintegrative psychosis. A child experiences normal development in these areas only to hit a snag after age three and up to age 10.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder - It is a moderate form of autism that manifests itself in a variety of ways. Challenges in social and linguistic development are the most typical signs. A child's language development, walking, and other motor skills may be delayed. This type of autism can be identified by observing the child and noting what areas the child struggles with, such as interacting with people.
Autism treatment varies according to the kind of autism and the intensity of symptoms. For example, moderate forms of autism, such as Asperger's autism spectrum condition, can be managed with behaviour modification or social training, whereas people with Rett syndrome will need more intensive help, such as physical or occupational therapy.
Because there is no medical test for ASD, such as a blood test, diagnosing the problems can be difficult. To make a diagnosis, doctors examine the child's behaviour and growth.
ASD can be discovered as early as 18 months of age. By the age of two, a professional diagnosis can be considered quite reliable. Many youngsters, however, do not obtain a definitive diagnosis until they are considerably older. Children with ASD may not receive the early intervention they require as a result of this delay.
There is no single cause for autism spectrum disorder. Given the disorder's intricacy and the fact that symptoms and severity vary, there are likely multiple causes. Both genetics and the environment may have an impact.
World Autism Awareness Day:
The United Nations General Assembly officially designated April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day to emphasise the importance of assisting persons with autism in improving their quality of life so that they can live full and meaningful lives as members of society. Autism is prevalent in all parts of the world, and a lack of knowledge has a significant impact on individuals, their families, and communities. Stigmatisation and prejudice associated with neurological impairments continue to be significant barriers to diagnosis and treatment, an issue that must be addressed by both developing and developed countries.
With the ongoing investigation and research into autism, the "United Nations General Assembly" established World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 of each year in "Resolution 62/139," which was adopted on December 18, 2007, to encourage member states to take action in raising awareness about people with autism spectrum disorder and to support research into new ways to improve wellness and inclusion.
Finally, in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), the American Psychiatric Association developed the concept of autism as a spectrum in 2013, combining all subcategories of autism and related conditions into one unified category, including varied characteristics, severity, and presentation of symptoms.
The best way to commemorate World Autism Awareness Day is to learn more about the characteristics of people who have this difficult condition. The theme for 2022 is "Quality Education for All". This year's observance will focus on inclusive education in the context of SDG 4 - the promise and reality - via a virtual event that will include a moderated panel discussion as well as brief presentations from self-advocates, educators, and other professionals.
How you can participate:
- Share information on autism with individuals who aren't familiar with it and educate them on the characteristics of people who have it.
- Volunteer with autism organisations and assist people with autism with their daily activities.
- The day is ideal for spending time with family and friends who have been diagnosed with autism. Plan some sensory-friendly activities for the day with them!
If you suspect your child has ASD or that there is an issue with the way he or she plays, learns, speaks, or acts, speak with your child's doctor about your concerns. If you or your doctor remain worried, request a referral to a specialist who can conduct a more thorough examination of your child.
“No matter how inclusive we are working towards being, we can always do more. We can always do better.” - Victoria N. McGovern