surprised if you have never heard of autism before.
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)
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.
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.)