Autism, as it has been defined, is a developmental disorder of the nerves that leads to several impairments, like inability to use language for the purpose of self expression and communication. Moreover, such children are socially awkward, and do not know how to begin a conversation, or continue with one in a social setting. They are generally aloof and are oblivious of the feelings of people around them.
Moreover, they are also unable to remember too many facts and figures. Autistic children generally develop obsessive and repetitive patterns of behavior, like rocking, or repeating words and phrases. Some random facts about autism that all parents and care givers should be aware of are as follows:
- Originally, the term “autism” was used to refer adult schizophrenia. However, it was only in 1943 that the medical term was given the specific definition by which it is known and understood today.
- According to surveys and reports for the year 2012 as published by CDC (Centers For Disease Control And Prevention), every 1 in 88 children is diagnosed with autism. The rates are almost 300% higher than what it used to be in 2002.
- Researchers state that mutations of chromosome number 16 may cause autism. The problem lies in the DNA region containing the “morpheus” gene, which has, historically, evolved with human evolution. To state it in very simple words, the genes which have resulted in the development of human intelligence may also be the cause of autism.
- There are no medical examinations, like blood tests and scans that can help in the detection of autism. Parents and doctors need to be vigilant and observe the behavioral traits of the child to determine if he/she is autistic.
- Researches have revealed that countries where there are higher levels of precipitation record greater number of autistic cases. In such places, the level of atmospheric pollutants are generally high, the levels of Vitamin D are rather low, and a sedentary lifestyle triggers higher cases of autism.
- Autism is more common than AIDS, diabetes and childhood cancer put together.
- In case of identical twins, the detection of one sibling with autism increases the possibility of diagnosing the other as being autistic almost by 90%.
Just like medical science has been unable to pin-point the definite causes of autism, there is no cure either. The only option is for parents and care givers to carefully observe the child in the early stages of development, as early detection and therapeutic intervention greatly helps in reducing the harmful effects of this debilitating condition. Moreover, with regular therapy, the child can also develop linguistic and social skills that will help him/her to adjust better in the society in which he/she lives.