World Autism Day, an opportunity to talk about this condition

On April 2nd the World Autism Day Raising awareness of this neurological disorder that first manifests itself in childhood and is characterized by affecting the way a person communicates and relates.

People who are born with it know it too Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have learning difficulties; as well as a particular interest in certain topics and a predisposition to carry out routine activities.

Autism is not a disease

This condition is incorrectly described as a disease, but in reality it is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the functioning of the brain.

“The abilities and needs of people with autism are different and can evolve over time. Although some people with autism can lead independent lives, there are others with severe disabilities who require constant care and support throughout their lives,” explains the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to experts, it is estimated that one in 100 children in the world is affected autism but the numbers could be much higher.

For this reason, we could live with an autistic person without knowing it because we tend to normalize many of their behaviors.

April 2 World Autism Day

April 2nd is World Autism Day. Photo: Freepik

In this way, thousands of people in the world live with autism and face difficulties in education and access to employment opportunities.

Due to their attitudes in the social environment, these people need support in dealing with other people so that they feel safer.

All of this means that people with autism face discrimination and stigmatization; which can worsen their health conditions as they tend to become socially withdrawn.

In addition, they do not engage in physical activity, develop poor eating habits, and are at higher risk of violence, injury, and abuse.

The United Nations decided to adopt April 2nd as that World Autism Day to raise awareness of this condition.

What does World Autism Day mean?

As a measure to promote inclusion and ensure respect for the rights of all people, regardless of status, the UN General Assembly declared April 2nd in 2007 World Autism Day.

“It is no longer just about raising public awareness, but about promoting acceptance and appreciation of autistic people and their contribution to society,” the UN said.

In this way, this celebration aims to promote the defense of the rights of people diagnosed with autism and raise the world’s awareness of this condition.

In this way, several organizations carry out campaigns and conferences to educate about autism in different countries around the world.

What causes autism?

Scientists have not been able to pinpoint the origin of autism. It is believed that there are several factors that lead to the development of this disorder.

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According to the specialist portal Medline Plus, one of them would be genetic; as ASD has been found to run in some families.

Additionally, taking certain medications during pregnancy can also cause a child to develop this condition.

Some scientists believe that damage to the brain’s amygdala may be related; and infection with a virus.

There is no cure for this condition as such, but there is treatment that improves the condition through the use of speech and language therapies, occupational therapy, physical therapy and, if necessary, medication.

For example, one of the most commonly used programs is the Treatment and Education of Autistic Children and Children with Associated Communication Impairments (TEACCH), which is aimed at diagnosed minors.

Another widely used method is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which uses personalized instruction to strengthen various skills and monitor the child’s behavior.

What are the symptoms of autism?

ASD symptoms usually appear before the age of three. In some children, the first symptoms appear in the first year of life.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that it is difficult to diagnose autism because there is no physical or medical test as such.

“To make a diagnosis, doctors evaluate the child’s behavior and development. ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months of age or earlier. By age two, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered reliable,” the CDC says.

The truth is that many children do not receive this diagnosis until they are older; especially if they are teenagers and adults and therefore do not receive help in a timely manner.

In this way, the main symptoms of autism are related to problems communicating and interacting with other people.

People with autism also display behaviors or interests that are restrictive or repetitive on some topics.

In addition, autistic people can develop certain types of learning, movement and attention.

Examples of Autism symptoms:

  • They avoid looking into the eyes and do not maintain eye contact
  • Children do not respond to their name or listen to what they are told.
  • They do not show any expression of happiness, sadness, among other things.
  • You do not participate in interactive games
  • They don’t play with other children
  • They do not conduct activities such as singing or dancing for parents.
  • They arrange toys in a row and it bothers them when they get mixed up.
  • You repeat words or sentences
  • They play with toys in the same way and focus on a specific role.
  • You have speech, movement or learning delays.
  • You have hyperactive or distracted behavior
  • You have unusual eating and sleeping habits
  • You have mood swings

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