Everyone thinks differently, but about 1% of the world is estimated to be on the autism spectrum. Prevalence rates in the United States are thought to be about 1 in every 68 births, with prevalence in some regions going as high as 1 in 42. In Nigeria, there are approximately 1.3 million people on the autism spectrum.
Children with autism can be diagnosed as early as 18 months, sometimes even early. Diagnosis usually involves a behavioral screening of the child by engaging the child and monitoring how they respond to interactions. Parents are also helpful in the diagnostic process as they know their child best.
People with autism can live ‘normal’ lives. When most people think of autism they think about a burden of care and having to assist someone all through their lives. As much as children and adults with autism need help with certain things, some can work, raise families and be functional members of society.
Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA), speech therapy and occupational therapy are some of the most successful therapy methods for autism spectrum disorders. These treatment programs are designed to target verbal and nonverbal communication, motor, social interaction, daily living and cognitive development.
The United Nations has established the 2nd of April as World Autism Awareness Day. Organisations around the world celebrate this day with activities to help raise awareness in different communities and social circles. More importantly it is a time to advocate for better care and resources for people on the spectrum. That said, every day is a good time to raise awareness about autism!
Those are some facts we wanted to share with you. If you already knew some or all of these please share this post, so someone else can be as autism aware as you!