Autism Facts

Autism Facts
Autism or ASD (autism spectrum disorder) is a neural developmental disability affecting approximately one out of every 68 children today. It causes significant behavioral, communication and social challenges as it affects how the brain processes information by altering the behavior of nerve cells. Symptoms of autism generally appear during infancy or early childhood, and the disorder is believed to be genetically based, although research is being conducted into possible environmental such as exposure to heavy metals, vaccines and even pesticides. Autistic children may also display signs of repetitive behavior, such as compulsive or ritualistic movements. They may also display signs of restricted behavior such as limited focus, activity or interest in regular childhood activities.
Interesting Autism Facts:
In the United States autism is the fastest growing developmental disability.
Boys are more likely to develop autism than girls. 1 in 68 children are affected and 1 in 42 boys is affected.
The average cost of caring for an autistic child is $60,000 per year.
There is currently no cure for autism.
Autism can vary in severity and some children are only affected mildly by symptoms.
Infants with autism tend to have difficulty engaging in human interaction. They will often fail to respond to their name by 10 months of age, and tend to delay the babbling that occurs with most infants.
Signs that may indicate autism in an infant include lack of babbling by age 1, no response to name, poor eye contact, no smiling, inability to say two-word phrases by age 2, and poor social skills.
Later signs that may indicate autism in a young child include inability to start or maintain a conversation, lack of imagination, lack of social play, repetitive behavior, unusual language use, preoccupation with particular subjects or objects, and inability to make friends.
Although there is no cure for autism, there are behavioral and therapy interventions that can improve symptoms, sometimes dramatically.
Educational and behavioral interventions include training sessions that are highly structured and skills-oriented. This type of therapy helps autistic children to develop their social and language skills. This type of therapy also includes counseling for family members of the autistic child that helps them to cope with challenges they face.
Medical intervention can include prescribing medication to treat some of the symptoms of autism such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety.
Autistic children are much more likely to suffer from seizures. Anticonvulsant drugs are used to treat seizures in autistic children.
There are many non-conventional therapies that can be used to treat autism such as dietary changes that have proven to be helpful in some cases.
Although it is not uncommon for young children to eat things that they shouldn't, autistic children tend to eat things they shouldn't as they get older.
Approximately 40% of autistic children do not talk.
Children with autism also often have other disorders including allergies, bowel disease, feeding disorders, bipolar disorder, ADHD, Tourette syndrome, sleeping disorders, autoimmune disorders, immune disorders, and anxiety disorders.
Although autism is progressive, treatment early on can be very positive and improve symptoms drastically.

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