Autism is becoming increasingly common with 2 in 20 children per 10,000 births as stated by the DSM-IV TR (2000). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001) have reported that 2 in 6 children per 1000 births are diagnosed with autism . In addition, the NHS have published statistics of 1 in 100 adults have been diagnosed with ASD. As reported on autismspeaks.org, Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.
Autism Spectrum Disorder encapsulates a continuum of autism related disorders, from mild to severely developmentally disabled children. It includes diagnoses such as Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). The use of the word ‘spectrum’ in ASD highlights how individuals diagnosed with ASD share common features but can be placed at varying ends of the continuum from moderate to severe diagnoses. Depending on the severity of each individual’s diagnosis, the outcomes for children with autism vary widely, some can attend mainstream schools and lead independent lives whereas others require extensive residential services in a special education service. Each child has different aspects of their lives in which they need help, and different ways they are outstanding. Knowing this is the first step in helping the amazing individual lead a more fulfilled and happy life.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is often characterised by impairments in social relationships, social communication and a rigidity of thought, behaviour and play. More specifically children with autism may display signs that they have difficulty relating to others and can seem ‘in their own bubble’. These children can have great difficulty in communicating through speech and find other ways to contact the outside world. This is sometimes through displaying challenging behaviours. Children with autism may also show a desire for repetitiveness and sameness in routines and play. In some cases children display a fantastic memory, as well as many other of their own personal qualities.
Autism is becoming increasingly common with 2 in 20 children per 10,000 births as stated by the DSM-IV TR (2000). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001) have reported that 2 in 6 children per 1000 births are diagnosed with autism . In addition, the NHS have published statistics of 1 in 100 adults have been diagnosed with ASD.
The causes of autism are unclear. Every child is different and an individual in their own right, regardless of their clinical diagnoses. This can explain how there are so many differences within the ASD diagnoses. Unfortunately research has not identified a single cause of autism. There appears to be a consensus that some sort neurological abnormality but other factors have also been show to contribute. Of course, every child’s circumstances are different and there is no research to give a definitive conclusion. Factors such as a wide variety of environmental and genetic variables have come up in the body of research. We don’t need to know the causes of autism, all we need to know is their own brilliant personalities and what that little person is all about.
For more information on autism or where to find useful resources on autism and related disorders, please contact us.