On April 2, every year World Autism Awareness Day is observed globally. This day is observed to raise awareness and recognize the rights of people having autism. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a condition affecting the development of the patient. World Autism Awareness Day aims to accept patients with autism by extending support and advocating for their rights. Autism awareness is essential to break the stigma around this condition and promote inclusion, acceptance and respect for those having it.
The theme for World Autism Awareness Day 2023 is – “Transforming the narrative: Contributions at home, at work, in the arts and policymaking.”
This World Autism Awareness Day 2023, Let’s Create Awareness By Learning More About Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
What Is An Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
Autism spectrum disorder or autism refers to diverse conditions characterized by social, communication and interaction problems. Autism is a condition where a developmental disability occurs due to differences in the brain. Patients having autism may often have different methods of interaction, learning, behaviour, moving and being attentive.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Autism?
Each individual will experience different signs and symptoms of autism. The autism symptoms may range from mild symptoms to chronically disabling symptoms. In some cases, the child may present the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder during early infancy, while some may develop autism symptoms after a few months of years.
The following autism symptoms should be recognised and acknowledged because they may indicate your kid is at risk of getting the disease. It is best advised to seek help from your doctor if you observe any symptoms in your child that may indicate autism.
Autism symptoms that may include problems with social communication and interaction may include the following:
- The child doesn’t respond or look at you when you call them by their name or doesn’t respond consistently upon being called
- Has weak eye contact
- Doesn’t have any proper facial expression
- The child avoids and resists any physical affection shown to them, such as cuddling and holding. Instead, they prefer being left alone
- Shows no signs of using gestures such as waving or blabbering by 12 months of age
- The child has delayed speech or may not talk at all
- The child struggles to initiate a conversation or maintain. Even when they engage in any conversation, it may be to make requests or label items
- The child often has difficulty understanding or following simple questions or directions
- Fails to express feelings or any emotions. The child also remains unaware of how someone else feels
- When talking, the child’s voice may have an unusual tone or rhythm, and they might repeat words or sentences without realizing what they mean
- They might have trouble deciphering nonverbal signals like body language, tone of speech, and facial expressions
- They may behave improperly in social settings by being passive, hostile, or disruptive.
Specific behaviours, also known as limited or repetitive behaviours or hobbies, are also symptoms of autism. These symptoms may include the following,
- Your child has odd or obsessive hobbies
- Your kid frequently arranges toys in a line or uses them consistently, in the same manner,
- The child often develops a specific routine or ritual and gets agitated or disturbed even at minor changes
- The child indulges in repetitive movements such as spinning or flapping hands
- They may have particular food habits, such as consuming only a limited variety of foods or avoiding foods with particular textures
- The child might have abnormally high sensitivity to touch, sound, or sight while unconcerned with discomfort.
- The kid may lack balance, display unusual movement patterns like clumsiness or stepping on their toes, and display rigid or agitated body language
- The child may take part in actions that lead to self-harm, like biting or head-banging
What Are Autism Causes?
The causes of autism spectrum disorder are not known yet. However, researchers believe that factors such as genetic and environmental factors may be some of the autism causes. Although the exact causes of autism are not known yet, there are certain known autism risk factors. These risk factors of autism may include the following:
- Giving birth at the age of 35 or more
- Having premature labor and birth
- Having birthtime complications
- Using valproic acid or thalidomide during pregnancy
- Having any chromosomal abnormality
- Having certain genetic conditions
- Having a sibling who has autism
How Is Autism Diagnosed?
Autism diagnosis is difficult as there are no proper tests, such as laboratory tests, to diagnose it. However, there are several screening tests and examinations that a doctor will carry out to diagnose autism. Some of these include the following,
- Developmental monitoring and screening
- Formal evaluation
There is no cure for autism. However, there are various treatment approaches used to treat autism patients. As every child with autism is unique, the autism treatment approach will also be unique and personalized. Therapy is the best approach for treating patients with autism.
In most instances, autism patients will have other medical conditions also along with autism. Hence, they may require both medications and behavioral therapy.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects the development of the patient. Researchers are still working on learning more about this condition. While autism is a lifelong condition with no care, the symptoms of the child with autism may become milder as they grow old. Hence, it is essential to be aware of early signs of autism and seek timely diagnosis and therapy. This World Autism Awareness Day 2023, spread awareness about autism spectrum disorder, early symptoms of autism, and the importance of therapy. To observe World Autism Awareness Day 2023 this year, encourage people to break the stigma around this condition and extend support to families with autism.
At Ayu Health, we are committed to providing all our patients with the best yet affordable treatment and care. Our team of highly skilled doctors provides the best treatments and therapies to help autism patients manage their symptoms better. At Ayu Health, we ensure to provide compassionate and effective care to all our patients, including those with autism, so that they can live their best possible lives.