World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated each year on April 2 to raise public awareness about this disorder and draw attention to the needs and reality of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. What do you know about this disorder?
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause serious, even chronic, problems with communication and social interaction, mental flexibility, and behavior.
How does autism manifest itself?
Autism symptoms vary widely from person to person, although all people with ASD process information in their brain differently than other people and develop at different rates in different areas.
ASD is characterized by:
- Clinically significant and persistent deficits in social communication:
-Problems with verbal and nonverbal communication used forsocial interaction
-Lack of social reciprocity
-Difficulties in developing and maintaining peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
- Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements or speech
- Unusual sensory behaviors
- Excessive adherence to routines or ritualized patterns and restricted interests
When does it appear?
Autism lasts throughout a person’s life, although symptoms and needs of people with autism change uponreaching adulthood.
Is there a cure for ASD?
There is currently no cure for this disorder. However,early diagnosis is crucial forcarrying out appropriate and personalized interventionsfor the individuals’ needs.
How many people are affected by it in Spain?
It is estimated that there is one case of ASD for every 150 births in Europe, so in Spain it is believed that this disorder affects about 45,000 people.
In addition, it is a disorder that affects males more often than females, with a ratio of 1 female for every 4 males diagnosed.
And what about in the United States?
Researchers do not know exactly how many people in the United States have ASD but it is estimated that 1in 68 children has been identified with ASD.
Research also shows that boys are four to five times more likely than girls to have it.