Many prominent buildings and natural features such as the Niagara Falls on the earth will be in the hue of BLUE. WHY?? This is in support of April 2, World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). This day is used to raise awareness about a disorder which still carries a lot of underreporting and incorrect approach to treatment.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurological lifelong developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with, relates to other people and learns. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. It is a spectrum condition-while all people with autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need a lifetime of specialist support. People with autism may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours. Thus the learning, thinking and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely impaired/challenged.
Asperger’s syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger’s syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language. Autistic disorder, Pervasive Development disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) are part of the ASD.
Some Common Signs Of Autism-
Hallmark feature of ASD is impaired social interaction. As early as infancy, a baby with ASD may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one item to the exclusion of others for long periods of time. A child with ASD may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagement.
Children with an ASD may fail to respond to their names and often avoid eye contact with other people. They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behaviour. They may lack empathy. Many children with an ASD engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling, or in self-abusive behaviour such as biting or head-banging. They also tend to start speaking later than other children and may refer to themselves by name instead of “I” or “me.” Children with an ASD don’t know how to play interactively with other children. Some speak in a sing-song voice about a narrow range of favourite topics, with little regard for the interests of the person to whom they are speaking.
Children with characteristics of an ASD may have co-occurring conditions, including Fragile X syndrome (which causes intellectual disability), tuberous sclerosis, epileptic seizures, Tourette syndrome, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder. About 20 to 30 percent of children with an ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood.
Causes of Autism-
Scientists are not certain about what causes ASD, but likely that both genetics and environment play a role. Researchers have identified a number of genes associated with the disorder. Studies of people with ASD have found irregularities in several regions of the brain. Other studies suggest that people with ASD have abnormal levels of serotonin or other neurotransmitters in the brain. These abnormalities suggest that ASD could result from the disruption of normal brain development early in foetal development caused by defects in genes that control brain growth and that regulate how brain cells communicate with each other, possibly due to the influence of environmental factors on gene function. While these findings are intriguing, they are preliminary and require further study.
Does Autism have a magic cure?
There is no cure for ASDs. Therapies and behavioural interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of individual children. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.
Therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as Applied Behavioural Analysis. Family counselling for the parents and siblings of children with an ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with an ASD.
It is very important to have an early and correct diagnosis from professionals. Albert Einstein the famous physicist, Amadeus Mozart, the father of modern western music, Bob Dylan American musician and artist, Satoshi Tajiri game designer, creator of the Pokémon series are just few of the names of individuals who have been identified under ASD. The crux is life is still beautiful from the angle of individuals with ASD condition/s. We just need to be look through their lenses. So LET IT BE BLUE for more humanity.
Apollo Health City, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad