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About Autism Awareness Day

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According to the CDC, 1 in every 59 people in the country suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). About 2 percent of the U.S. population is on the spectrum which means there are high chances that your colleague at work will be neurodiverse thus thinks differently from others in your organization.

In 2020 alone, CDC approximated that 1 in 54 children in the country was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

To break this down further;

  • 1 in 34 boys was diagnosed with ASD.
  • And 1 in 144 girls was diagnosed with ASD.

This shows that boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with Autism than girls. While in most cases diagnosis of Autism occurs after 4 years, children can be a screened for this disease as early as when they are 2 years old.

31 % of children that have been diagnosed with ASD have an intellectual disability where their IQ is less than 70, while 25% of these children fall on the borderline. 44% of the diagnosed children have an IQ score in the average of more than 85.

Enough with the statistics, let’s learn what Autism is and what we can do about it.

April 2 will be the day the world will come together to observe World Autism Day. a time when people from all over the world join hands together and share as one the colors of blue, red, yellow, and purple that reflect the uniqueness and complexity of the Autism spectrum.

Surprisingly, not many people know about this condition, or how to cope with it whenever they come across an autistic kid or adult. Therefore, there is no better way to celebrate this year’s World Autism Day than becoming aware of the characteristics portrayed by autistic people. This way, we can all partake in the process and do better to increase our knowledge and promote kindness.

What is Autism

Autism  Spectrum Disorder, better known as ASD does not refer to a single disease or disorder per se. Rather, ASD is a range of conditions. These conditions share some commonalities, such as some degree of impairment in the social behavioral interactions, communication, and language skills, and also, a narrow range of interests and activities both unique to the individual.

A child with Autism tends to grow with the disorder into adolescence and adulthood. In most cases, children start showing signs of Autism during the first 5 years of their lives.

Usually, autistic children also exhibit other co-occurring conditions including epilepsy, depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And like we mentioned before, the level of intellectual capacity varies significantly extending from profound impairment to superior levels.

Causes and care for Autistic people

Most of the studies that have been conducted on this subject point to many factors that cause ASD including environmental and genetic factors. There is no evidence suggesting any childhood vaccine may increase the risk of ASD. some studies that had been conducted before showed there was a causal association between measles, mumps, and rubella Vaccine and ASD, but these studies were nullified as they were filled with methodological flaws.

In the early formative years of a child, it is crucial to promote the right environment for the optimal development and well-being of an autistic child. Constant monitoring of the development of these children is a part of the routine.

Once an ASD child has been identified, it is important to offer the necessary support systems, with a special emphasis on the child’s primary care; parents. They must be offered relevant information, services, referrals, and practical support each according to their individual needs.

Till now, there’s no known cure for  ASD. but, a child could largely benefit from evidence-based psychological interventions such as behavioral treatment and skill development training for both the child and its primary caregivers. Doing this consistently will help reduce difficulties in communication and social behavior.

The health care needs for autistic people are complex and require a range of integrated services. This will ultimately include health promotion, care, rehabilitation services, and collaboration with other sectors such as education, employment, and social care.

Autism In Adulthood

In the next decade, an estimate 707,000 to 1,116,000 teenagers will enter adulthood and will age out of school-based autism services. Most adults with autism do not receive any healthcare support for years after they stop seeing a pediatrician. More than half of young adults who suffer from ASD tend to remain unemployed and unenrolled in higher education in the two years after high school.

According to data from Autismspeaks.org, of nearly 18,000 people who have been diagnosed with ASD and who use the state-funded vocational rehabilitation programs in 2014, only about 60 percent left the program with a job. Of the 60 percent, 80 percent worked part-time earning a median-weekly rate of $160, which meant, most of them were well below the poverty level.

“Nearly half of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job.

Research demonstrates that job activities that encourage independence to reduce autism symptoms and increase daily living skills.”- Website, AutismSpeak.org

Observing World Autism Day

Go out on April 2nd and share some information online about this great day. Today, even though many people have access to the internet, not so many people are aware of Worl Autism Day. on April 2nd, why don’t you become an ambassador? Share information about Autism or Autistic children and educate the masses.

Another way you could be a part of this day is by getting involved with autism associations. There are so many people who either have a family member with autism and are part of a community-wide, nation-wide, or even global-wide association. Reach out to them and get involved in the activities they have planned for this day.

Show kindness to autistic people. This is a perfect time to have a good time with your friends who have been diagnosed with autism.

 

Data Sources;

https://nationaltoday.com/

https://www.un.org/en/

https://www.autismspeaks.org/

https://www.who.int/

https://www.autism-society.org

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