Autism Awareness – Part One

Autism offers a chance for us to glimpse an awe filled vision of the world that otherwise might pass us by. – Dr. Zimbleman  

Autism is an inborn disorder which could differ in its brutality and which is invariably distinguished by its manifestation of complexity to socially interact, to converse with others, exhibit repetitive behavior of thoughts, words and actions. Thus, hampering schooling, relationships and working abilities. 

The exact cause as to why it is present in some is still not established. Though, they suspect that genes coupled with influences from the environment affect the development of Autism in an individual.            

The different types of Autism include Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), Kanner’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

Autism is also known as an Autistic Spectrum Disorder because the symptoms people experience varies from one autistic to another. It is a lifelong disorder and it occurs in varied ethnic, racial and economic groups. In spite of this people should not lose hope, as numerous treatments and therapies can tremendously improve a person’s symptoms and ability to function to survive in this world. I am of the opinion that all children should be screened and evaluated for autism so that one could intervene at an early stage and bring about positive changes. 

Typical signs and symptoms showed by autistic person are, inconsistent eye contact, not focusing on others when they are talking, lacking understanding of things that bring joy to others, slow in responding to other’s communication or unable to continue a communication for a longer period, tirelessly talking about their subject of choice, without noticing if the other person is interested in it or not, having body language and facial expressions that do not match to what they are feeling and saying, having a sing-song or robot like voice tone, not being able to understand another’s point of view or to predict other’s actions, repetitive behavior, intense interests in numbers or moving objects or at times in insignificant details about a particular thing, getting upset on change of routine, more sensitive to sensory inputs like light, noise or temperature, and at times sleep disturbances & irritability. With these bouquets of problems God has also given them some advantages like being able to easily learn something in detail and in remembering relevant information for longer time, being able to use their sensory perception to learn quicker and better, and to excel in math, science, music or art.    

It is paramount for parents, primary school teachers and doctors to diagnose autism at an early stage. They usually do so by looking at a person’s behavior and development. It is significant for those with concerns to seek out assessment as soon as possible so that a diagnosis can be made, and treatment can begin.