National Autism Awareness Month


Staff WriterWriter

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2012, 20 per 1,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with autism.

Autism affects the way information is processed in the brain, causing the nerve cells and their synapses to not communicate properly. 

The reason for this miscommunication is still unknown, and the cause of it remains shrouded in mystery. 

There are many theories about the cause of autism, such as certain types of metals, pesticides and childhood vaccines, but most agree the root of the problem is not in outer-body elements. 

Instead, these theories state that autism is biological and genetic, which leaves the people who contract the disease to live with a distinction whose cure remains unresolved.

The symptoms for autism usually develop gradually within the first two years of a child’s life, but there have been some cases where the child will develop normally between the ages of 1 to 2, but then lose their speech and social skills. 

This is later diagnosed a s regressive autism: where the child will revert back to an earlier time where they stop speaking and lose their social skills altogether after they had learned to do so.

There is no known cure for autism. While this may seem like a bleak statement for those who have children with autism, there are many who believe that autism should be accepted and seen as difference rather than a disorder.

Those who see autism as a difference and not as a disorder try to assist and lessen the distress that the family and the autistic child may feel. 

There is no one way to treat a family and their child. Instead, the treatment is tailored to their needs and what they want to develop most. 

Special education programs and behavior therapy early on in life can often help the child and the family to develop a sense of self-care, social communications and job skills for the child to learn as they mature as much as they can.

Another intervention that many families take is medication for the child to help their behaviors. The most common drugs used for autism and its other forms include antidepressants, stimulants, and antipsychotics.

Aside from these approaches, there are few resources that can safely assist the autistic.

Children occasionally recover, and they are un-diagnosed as autistic. This recovery rate is said to be between 3% and 25%, and for those children, by the age of 5, they are able to develop speech and social skills again slowly. 

Though some autistic children may seem to have a bleak life to others where they may lack social support, meaningful relationships and future employment opportunities, more and more people are seeing them less as a disorder and more as a difference.