Over the past decade, the rate of autism prevalence has increased by over 100%. Today 1 in 54 children are likely to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
What can we do to help those with Autism in our community?
As a community, we can do our part in learning more about Autism to help raise awareness. One way to do this is by honoring and supporting the people working to make this world a better place for those living with Autism.
If you or a loved one are living with Autism, or you are a caretaker, here at Neurology Office, we want to extend our thanks and celebrate your service!
What is ASD?
ASD impacts neurodevelopment in childhood with patterns associated with difficulty in communication and social activities.
Autism is classified as a “spectrum” disorder because there is a wide variation in the type and severity of people’s symptoms. Each and every individual with Autism is different and has their own unique spectrum of issues and skills.
ASD affects individuals from all backgrounds irrespective of ethnic or socioeconomic status.
Early diagnosis is not always possible with ASD, as some children develop symptoms as late as three years of age. These symptoms can manifest in everyday activities like communication, eye contact, impaired social interaction, and more.
The range of ability will always be different, which is why experts recommend that children be screened annually for developmental delays and symptoms of Autism.
A licensed clinician or a pediatric neurologist/pediatrician with special expertise in child development can diagnose Autism using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMV) created by the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM-5 is now the standard reference that healthcare providers use to diagnose mental and behavioral conditions, including Autism.
Some of the symptoms noted in the DSM-5 handbook are 1. great distress/difficulty changing focus or action, 2. marked deficits in verbal and nonverbal social communication skills, 3. social impairments apparent even with supports in place, 4. limited initiation of social interactions, and 5. reduced or abnormal responses to social overtures from others.
FAQs About ASD
What causes Autism?
Currently, the direct cause of Autism has not yet been determined. Correlations between inherited genetic predisposition and environmental causes have been considered. Data shows an increased risk in children born prematurely, as well as children born to older parents. However, the research is still unclear on a direct cause.
Is there a cure?
Currently, there is no cure for Autism. Research has shown that early intervention coupled with developmental support and therapy can be highly effective. Although ASD is a lifelong condition, with proper care, many children diagnosed with ASD go on to live independent, productive, and fulfilling lives.
If symptoms prevent the child from making progress in their development or cause issues with or safety (in the case of seizures), your physician may recommend supportive medications.
How do I communicate with someone who has Autism?
There is no “right” way to communicate. Being kind and using clear language as you would with any other individual works well. Remember to be patient, show love and affection and always stay positive! Sometimes using pictures (picture exchange communication system) can be helpful if the individual has challenges with language.
How do I refer to Autism?
At Neurology Office, we believe that labeling someone’s needs as “special” or simply “disabled” does not address or convey the true condition. That condition is best described as an individual who requires or has “additional needs” that, if met, allow for greater opportunities and possibilities. (Credit: Additional Needs, Inc.)
Here are a few local non-profits that Neurology Office is proud to support. These organizations provide excellent resources and make our community a wonderful place for children and families living with ASD. Thank you for all you do!
Golden PAWS Assistance Dogs
Message from Dr. Kandel
“Although we don’t yet know all there is to know about Autism, what we do know is that individuals living with Autism have the opportunity to live productive, successful, and vibrant lives. The more we raise awareness of this disorder in our community, the more we are able to build a brighter future for all of us.”
If you have any questions about Autism Spectrum Disorder or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the Neurology Office for more help.
Feel free to share this with the people in your life who may benefit from this information! For more insights on neurology, check out our weekly tips on our Neurology Office Facebook page.
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Neurology Office, Joseph Kandel M.D. and Associates
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