What is Autism?

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Identify possible early signs and symptoms of Autism

What is autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a complex lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder that typically appears within the first three years of life. It is considered a spectrum disorder meaning the primary symptoms can be expressed in varying degrees of severity.

Many get confused with Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism. Essentially both conditions deal with the same foundational implications, however, the symptoms are what sets these two disorders apart.

Asperger’s symptoms and signs of Autism

Asperger’s is a form of autism. The symptoms are similar but are not as severe or as noticeable as autism. Children with autism typically have trouble with basic communication such as verbal and non-verbal social interactions. These traits can be displayed with a range of rigid or stereotypical, repetitive behaviours. These are often displayed with an insistence to maintain a specific routine that they will not want to change. Hyper-sensitivity to sensory stimuli is also often observed.

As with learning and behavioural disorders, there are early signs of autism, however, no two children are the same. Each child should be assessed on an individual basis, taking various factors into account. There are a variety of symptoms that autism displays, so the symptoms may differ from person to person.

Dealing with autism

Statistics show that 1 in 68 children have autism. While socialising is common practice in our development, children with autism find it extremely difficult because the way they read facial expressions and body language of others is different. This has an effect on the way autistic children express themselves physically and verbally.

It is a lifelong condition and individuals become accustomed to their unique behavioural differences. There are tailored programmes that can assist children in communicating and interacting.

While autism is not curable, it is treatable. With the right guidance from a professional and support from family and friends, autism will not appear to be an impassable mountain. The key to help a loved one deal with autism is to recognise that it is part of their identity, and provide as much assistance as possible without making them feel like they’re different.

The earlier you get assistance for your child, the quicker they can become accustomed to the various programs and treatments, thus improving the results. While children don’t grow out of it, symptoms can be made less impactful, giving children an equal opportunity in learning and social interaction.

Contact PECS for more information about Asperger’s syndrome or Autism.

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