I have come up with this blog to share the things that I
find important and interesting.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

What do you know about 'Autism' ?

I never heard about autism until someone close to me was diagnosed with this condition. Many Americans had never heard of Autism until they saw the movie 'Rain Man'. In this classic film, the hero (Tom Cruise) discovers that he has a brother who suffers from autistic disorder,and is unable to care for himself. This hero travels across the country to take his brother home with him, only to be annoyed, hurt and sometimes enraged at the oddness and extraordinary demands. But after a while he realizes his brother's extra ordinary talent. He could do high level maths problems in his head with no processing time. His mind operated faster than normal people. What kind of potential and power is locked within human mind? Isn't it surprising that autistic people can do such amazing things! It is probably this film which is the only thing that many people know about autism. I won't be
surprised if you have never heard of autism before.

Symptoms

Autism is a very
complex developmental brain disorder. It is a difficult condition to understand. The formal definition
of autism includes three main components; deficits in social behaviour , abnormal language and repetitive or restricted movements (Ex: hand flapping) . In severe cases seizures, mental retardation and regression are also common. The symptoms begin in childhood and persist throughout adulthood.
Doctors still do not know everything there is to know. One person with autism may have very different symptoms than another. Because of these vast differences, doctors now call this condition as 'Autism spectrum disorder' ( ASD)

Causes

You may have heard possible causes of autism. It ranges from mercury in infant vaccines to the genetic and age of parents to almost everything. They say it is easy to list the things that do not cause autism rather than listing the factors that cause it. Most researches think autism is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. As of now, there is no agreement on the causes of autism. Lot of research is needed to study and understand this complex condition. Autism today in terms of interest, funding for research and awareness is like cancer some 2o years ago. Therefore we have to go long way to find the real causes of this condition.

Treatments

At present there is no cure for autism. That doesn't mean that people with autism don't improve. Treatments work in children when they are diagnosed early and some improve radically. Treatments may be biomedical, sensory, behavioural, developmental or art based.

Some important facts about autism

* Autism is 3 times more likely to affect males than females.

* Most children start showing symptoms between 18 and 24 months.

* Statistics show that autism is growing at the rate of 10-15 percent per year.


( I am working as a respite carer for people with learning disablities and gathered all the above information in the training I had before meeting autistic people. Hope someone will benefit from this post.If you know anything more about autism please share them in the comments.)


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2 comments:

  1. Dear Jes,
    Wonderful post!! Nicely written. Look forward to reading many more useful contents like this. All the best for your new blog.
    Love n regards
    Manohar Gnana
    Bahrain

    ReplyDelete