WHAT IS AUTISM?
Autism Spectrum Disorder, short for ASD, is an umbrella term for a range of developmental and behavioral issues that affects a child's social and communication skills. Under the ASD umbrella, there's Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).
As ASD is a spectrum disorder, every child with an ASD diagnosis is different from one another. Each child portrays his or her own set of characteristics and difficulties. And all of them are unique individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Understanding the Core Deficits of Autism
We know every autistic individual portrays a different set of features and symptoms, but there are 5 main core deficits that are seen universally across people with Autism.
These 5 main core deficits serve as the basis of the signs and symptoms of ASD like rigidity, lack of social motivation, stereotypic behaviours, etc.
Find out more about the signs and symptoms of ASD here.
PREVALENCE OF AUTISM
According to the CDC in 2018, there's approximately 1 in 59 children diagnosed with ASD, with boys being 4 times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.
CAUSES OF AUTISM
Until today, the real direct cause of Autism still remains a mystery to everyone. Researchers have been pointing to a few risk factors that may increase the risk of ASD, like genetic, prenatal and environmental factors. However, these risk factors are not definite and not everyone exposed to those risks will develop ASD.
An important note to parents is that despite the rumours of vaccination circling around, vaccines do NOT cause ASD. There have been extensive studies and research conducted to confirm that there is no direct link between vaccines and Autism.
Should you want to know more, this site has compiled all the resources about vaccination and autism for you.
Click here to know more about the early signs of Autism.