Do people realize how lucky they are? Do we as one specie realize how vulnerable we are? Do families that have autistic family member, know that they are blessed? Now, what is Autism? Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact with other people. It is about time people became more aware of autism and the seriousness of it. I also believe that there are a lot of misconceptions about autism that should be cleared up. Autism is also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Spectrum Disorder impacts the nervous system and can look different in different people.

Here are facts you should know about Autism:

•The rate of autism has steadily grown over the last 20 years. Autism now affects 1 in 68 children with boys being four times more likely to have autism than girls.

•About 40% of children with autism do not speak. About 25%-30% of children with autism are able to speak some words at 12-18 months of age but then they loss them. Others might speak, but not until later in childhood.

•Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder, yet the most underfunded. More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetics and cancer combined.

•35% of young adults, ages 19-23 with autism have not had a job or received post graduate education after leaving high school. There’s more than 100 thousand cases per year in Nigeria.

•Not all autistic persons have savary skills, intellectual disability and are violent. Some have quality friendship and great sense of humor.

•Autism is not a hopeless condition. It is treatable but early prevention is key.

Types of Autism Spectrum Disorder:

Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), previously called Asperger’s Disorder: Most people with this disorder are of normal or above normal intelligence and possess strong verbal skills, but social communication is a challenge. People with Level 1 ASD tend to struggle with social cues and often develop an intense interest in one or two subject areas. Did you know that Issac Newton, Amadeus Mozart, Charles Darwin, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein all showed symptoms related to Asperger’s Symptoms? Autism relates them. And they all revolutionized the world!

Kanner’s Syndrome or Classic Autistic Disorder: Symptoms of Kanner Syndrome can include challenges communicating or understanding others, engaging in virtually no eye contact and a hypersensitivity to stimuli (smell, light,taste or touch). Children who have been diagnosed with Kanner’s Syndrome display a profound need for routine and often display no interest in the world around them. These children turn their attention inward and show little desire to interact with others.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS): Children with this type of autism may have experienced delays in benchmarks such as speaking or walking. Children with PDD-NOS are able to manage the symptoms of the milder form more easily.

Understanding the different kinds of autism, can help you detect early signs in your child. With a growing number of children receiving an autism diagnosis, the first step is identifying what type of autism a child has in order to help them live an enjoyable and successful life.

Signs and Symptoms of Autistic Syndrome Disorder: Symptoms can vary widely. Some have very noticeable symptoms while others might not. Some of the first signs of Autism are head banging and repetitive routines. However if any of these routines are interrupted, he or she might loose control and start yelling having a temper tantrum. Not only is it crucial that their daily routine are consistent but their environment also. This gives them a sense of order and allows them to feel secure. Other symptoms include difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions and obsessive interests. Some have visual, voice or hearing impairments. Some children develop unusual interests and capabilities. The reason this usually occurs is because children or adults with autism have a completely different sensory system. An example would be that some are oversensitive to light sometimes causing seizure. It has been recorded that about 75% of children that suffer from autism also suffer from epilectic seizures. Some children who are on the Autistic Spectrum Disorder start showing signs as young as a few months old. Others seem to have normal development for the first few months or years of their lives and then start showing symptoms. Children with ASD have symptoms throughout their lives but it’s very possible for them to get better as they get older. An autistic individual emotions can vary from very extreme to very calm. They often suffer from high levels of anxiety, emotions and of odd fears (example colours or object).

Causes of Autistic Syndrome Disorder:

Gene: Autism can be caused by malfunction in the gene of the body. During birth, there are certain cells that helps in the speech of a child. Hence, when there is a dysfunction in this cell; it affects the speech of the child.

Spiritually: In Nigeria, autism can be caused by generational curse or evil people who do not want the child to be a star but this cannot stop one from being a star in life.

Effects of Autism Syndrome Disorder: This condition is not fatal but it is known to invade people’s personal lives, coming into people’s workspace, education and social interaction. This might not seem so bad, but it is. The effects include:

•Autism affects the brain by making it difficult to communicate, and form relationships with others.
•Autism affect the daily lives of many, but most people don’t realize how much it actually affects people’s everyday lives. This is not only affecting the ones with autism but the families too.

•Autism affects people of all age groups.
•Some kids and teens with autism feel that they don’t fit in because of their condition, so they try to change who they are or go down different paths so that they can fit in and seem normal.
•Some autistic persons don’t know what do in some social interactions and can’t pick up on social cues that just come naturally to others.
•Autism can last for years or be lifelong.

Solutions to Autism Syndrome Disorder: Autism is on the rise. Many researchers feel the reasons isn’t because there are more kids being afflicted with it, but the increased public awareness has allowed this disorder to be more easily recognized and diagnosed at an early age.

Autism can be treated in the following ways: Through medical diagnosis, Medications such as Antipsychotic, antidepressant and stimulus drug are used to treat Autism.

Through therapy: Early recognition as well as behavioural, educational and family therapies may reduce symptoms and support development and learning. Other forms of therapy include: Physical and Mental training session such as Anger Management, Family Therapy, Applied Behavior analysis, Sensory processing, Animal-Assisted therapy and Telepractice for the autistic to adopt to normal world but none of this therapist have really shown 100% efficiency; An early intervention program can be helpful when autism is discovered in younger children. In some cases, with the right treatment program, a child can even outgrow some of the issues associated with autism and begin to display better social and communication skills.
Take your problems to God: There’s no problem God cannot heal. He’s a miracle worker and promise keeper. Tell God your problems. And always remember that God’s time is the best. (Proverbs 23:18; Eccl 3:1-12). PRAY for your autistic friends, family and loved ones.
Be happy: One of the best solution to autism is to be happy. Happiness takes away the pains and problems too. And by being happy you’ll think less about your problems. If you have a loved one that is autistic, make efforts to put smiles on their faces anytime you have the chance.
Don’t take things personal: What people say about you, is only a perception of their thoughts. Don’t let anger control you.
•If you see someone at school or at work that you think may or may not have autism, just go easy on them, be patient. They are probably already stressed out, don’t make matters worse than it is.
•Hug autistic persons whenever they panic because it gives abundance of fulfillment and calms them. Also make them feel better and happier.
•To everyone; Relax and enjoy yourself. Take good care of yourself!! I’m sending y’all lots of love and light.

April is known as the Autistic Awareness Month and April 2 is the Autistic Awareness Day.

Autistics all over the world, stop judging yourself for who you are not and start finding yourself for who you are. It is your imperfections that makes you what you are. You are amazing. You have the power to make this life a beautiful adventure. Autism is a different way to perceive our reality. If being abnormal makes one special, then this abnormality is a blessing.

4 thoughts on “AUTISM

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