World Autism Awareness Day: Prevention and Treatment the Only Way Forward
The World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated every year on April 2 to spread awareness for the rights of people with autism. It was initiated by the United Nations in 2007. The condition of autism starts during early childhood and continues into adolescence.
Generally, people suffering from autism may often show co-occurring conditions, including epilepsy, depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as challenging behaviours such as difficulty in sleeping and self-injury. Various activities like lighting up landmarks in blue, wearing blue clothing and sharing stories of people with autism marks the World Autism Awareness Day.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder is a condition associated with the development of the brain. It affects people in different ways. This disability is a hindrance to the way autistic people communicate and interact with the world. Autism symptoms appear within the first three years of life. Autism spectrum disorder is its formal diagnostic name. The word ‘spectrum’ means that autism can be seen in different forms and with varying levels of severity.
Causes of Autism
Scientific evidence suggests that there are many factors that make a child more prone to have autism. Research through the ages has shown that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is main cause of autism.
These factors are main reasons that a child will have the risk of developing autism. But these reasons may not make a child have autism, instead research has shown that genes associated with people with autism have also be found in people without autism. And, people influenced by environmental factors of autism may not at all develop autism.
Genetic Factors Increasing the Risk of Autism
Research has proved that autism risk runs in a family that already has either parent carrying one or more of autism gene changes with them. So, those genes are passed on to the next generation even if the parents are not affected by it. The changes that occur in these genes will increase eth tells us that autism tends to run in families.
Changes in certain genes increase the risk factor that a child may get the disorder. And, sometimes, these changes in genes happen in the early stages of an embryo’s development. The changes do not cause autism but they induce risk for the disorder.
Environmental Factors Affecting the Development of Autism
Research indicates that some environmental factors also influence the risk of autism in people who are already genetically subject to the disorder. Further, the increase in risk may be because of advanced age of either parent, complications during pregnancy and birth with respect to prematurity, low birth weight, etc., and exposure to heavy metals and toxins.
Tests Used to Diagnose Autism
An Autism Spectrum Disorder can be diagnosed through several screenings, genetic tests and evaluations.
Support from Society
People with autism need intensive behavioural support. If the disorder is diagnosed in the early childhood, then various programs will help them improve their outlook.
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