What is Autism?
Autism is a Spectrum Disorder also known as ASD is a developmental disorder that affects how people communicate and interact with the world.
People with a diagnosis of ASD will have difficulties with interaction and social communication along with inflexibility in their behaviors or interests. People with ASD may find it hard to understand what other people think or feel. They may find things like bright light and loud noises overwhelming, stressful, or uncomfortable. They may be anxious or upset in unfamiliar situations and social events. They may take longer to understand information or do may think things over and over.
How is ASD Diagnosed?
There is no single blood or genetic test that can diagnose ASD. It is diagnosed by a group of professionals who carry out structured interviews and observations of the person being diagnosed and their family.
Myths and Facts about ASD
Myth: ASD is caused by vaccination or poor parenting
Fact: ASD has many causes and nobody knows what causes ASD. It can affect people in the same family and may sometimes be passed on to a child genetically. However, autism is not caused by bad parenting, vaccinations like the MMR vaccine, diet, or infection can spread to other people.
Myth: ASD is a childhood disorder
Fact: ASD is a lifelong disorder. People can be diagnosed at any stage of their life. People don’t go out of ASD and cannot be cured. However, they can learn to manage some of their difficulty associated with the diagnosis.
Myth: All people with ASD are the same.
Fact: ASD affects everyone differently. Some people with ASD have an intellectual disability and may need substantial support daily activities while in some cases people with ASD have special talents for example with Mathematics. The level of support for people with ASD varies across the population.
Myth: ASD is only prevalent among certain populations like poor people.
Fact: ASD can affect anyone of any background. There are more boys and girls diagnosed with ASD however it is unclear whether this is due to be easier to diagnose in boys or boys are more susceptible to ASD.