Things You Need to Know About Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a set of medical conditions that affect the behavioral repertoire of an individual. This disorder can be detected in variable severity in age as young as two years old.
Numerous researches have concluded the rapid prevalence of autism spectrum disorder. CDC generated one such report in 2021, which revealed that approximately 1 in 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed as autistic to some degree according to the data collected in 2018.
Individuals conditioned with ASD find engaging in conversations difficult. Some ASD individuals may be able to support themselves; others need constant familial support to go through daily life. It is crucial to get an early diagnosis to follow proper treatment.
Here are some things you need to know about ASD that might help you.
Causes of Autism
ASD can be developed due to genetic and environmental factors. Majorly the genetic mutations that occur in the mother in the gestation period are the reason behind the development of ASD. These mutations may occur due to the old age of parents, prematurity of infants, particular genetic dispositions such as Down syndrome or Rhett syndrome, etc.
Other minor reasons may include environmental factors such as air pollution, poor nutrition, or mother exposure to harmful substances during pregnancy. A few studies have also related the development of ASD to the incessant or excessive screen time that parents give to their 1-year-old.
Importance of Accurate Diagnoses
A possible ASD forebear needs to get an accurate diagnosis. Even if the markers of this condition can be detected at an early age it is properly diagnosed much later. In some cases, it can be misdiagnosed as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) due to its overlapping symptoms.
A 2014 analysis found that about 30 – 50% of individuals with ASD also show ADHD symptoms. If ASD is left untreated it can worsen through time, especially in patients who do not have a stable family structure.
Symptoms of ASD
The most common symptom that an ASD person might face is difficulty in communication, discomfort in public places, non-responsive to common stimuli, an exceptional focus on a single item, avoiding eye contact, repetition in behavior, and reserved demeanor.
Understanding of Behavior
If you ever come across an ASD person, be it in a classroom, in-home, or in public. You need to understand that every patient’s behavior has a reason. An ASD person can feel like acting out if they feel a lack of order in their routine. To understand their needs and appropriate response, you need to study the context which caused them to ‘lash out.’
Triggers that Cause Physical or Psychological Act-out
The most central reason for an aggressive response can be an ‘inappropriate’ social interaction, response to social challenges, and the uncertainty of environmental factors. ASD people do not understand social agreements like normal individuals, as they lack the understanding of social agreements.
For example, if an ASD person visits a doctor, they might act out during the physical examination as they find close interaction uncomfortable. Similar discomforts can also be faced in classrooms during group activities.
Epidemical Status of Autism
Autism has reached an Epidemic status and according to WHO, about 1 in 160 people worldwide have Autism. This number is increasing through the years. The reason for the increase in registered ASD individuals is maybe because of the growing awareness of this condition, or due to the broadening of the symptoms of this disease.
It was believed that vaccines might be causing Autism, but there is no such proof. No matter the reason behind the increase in the number of registered ASD individuals. The preeminent task at hand is to acknowledge Autistic individuals and help them get by.
How to Support an ASD Individual
When dealing with an ASD individual, it is better to give them a choice rather than direct them to do a task. By embedding choice in your instruction, the ASD individual will feel more in control and comfortable. You can formulate the choices according to social acceptability.
Cooperation is Important
Do not expect the ASD person to fit in with the social norms and structures, you need to change some things as well to make them feel comfortable as well. If you are family, an acquaintance, teacher, or classmate, help them take notes of their behavior.
Gather descriptive information on the purpose or function of an ASD individual’s behavior, manufacture alternative socially appropriate interventions, and observe if it is helping. This will help you and the ASD person collaborate better if your interaction is frequent.
It is also found that autistic people who have siblings can more comfortably put up with the social necessities. Emotional development is eminent because of the constant natural interaction with a fellow who has frequent contact with them.
Manage ASD through Therapy
There are proper Emotional coaching centers that can help manage the behavioral responses of ASD persons. You can also join a support group to better understand the challenges of having ASD and how to help them. Conversing with people who know someone with ASD can also give you different perspectives on negotiating with ASD.
Online Forums and Blogs
Many online forums and blogs will allow you to get to know the experiences of ASD people and their families. If you are a person who can not join a support group for any reason you can follow the accounts of blogs related to ASD. These blog posts have more intimate details about life with an ASD person.
Attitude Towards ASD
The general attitude that society has towards an Autistic person is of a disabled person. Some are on the severe side of the spectrum, but many ASD persons have intellectual and speech capacity. Such behavior that indicates the disability can cause anxiety and stress in an ASD person.
Sometimes the special treatment of parents can also generate excellent results. But, it is better to make an ASD person as autonomous as possible. Recently many examples have surfaced that show ASD’s successfully doing a job in a supportive environment.