Hi there! The fact that you clicked on the link that led to this blog post shows that you support Autism Awareness. *high five*
My name is Toks Bakare and I am a UK trained Behaviour Analyst and founder of asktoks.com. Today I want to talk to you about Autism.
“Autism” and the official name “Autism Spectrum Disorders” are terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.
The brain of an individual with Autism develops differently from the average person, thus making communication and processing of information difficult.
Children with Autism might;
- Have trouble interacting with other children
- Perform certain actions repeatedly (repetitive behavior)
- Find it difficult to learn new words and their meanings
- Have difficulty adjusting to change (like trying new breakfast cereal, having their toys moved from the usual places)
What most people don’t know though is that children with autism are also superheroes because they might:
Have exceptional memory: They are less likely to misremember facts. Kids with autism can memorize large amounts of material on certain subjects, having the ability to store huge lists in their minds and repeat them accurately.
Be hyper focused: For example kids love to play in the sand, but when some kids with autism do, they don’t just play in the sand. They have the ability to zoom into every single grain of sand running through their tiny little fingers. Pretty cool, right?
Display amazing musical skills: With their outstanding ability in tone recognition, kids with autism are able to access musical details more readily than the typical developing child.
Display amazing art skills: In many tests, kids with autism are known to outperform their peers in creative tasks such as drawing and painting.
CAUSES: The cause of Autism Spectrum Disorders is not truly known, but some studies show a connection to both genetic and environmental factors. Some children are born with Autism because it runs in their family. Some cases do occur where children who have no relatives on the autism spectrum, are on the spectrum themselves.
The brain is a complex organ comprising of 100 billion neurons. These neurons have connections that carry messages to other nerve cells in the body. The connections and neurotransmitters keep the neurons working as they should, this ensures that we can see, feel, communicate, move, and feel emotions and other things.
However, in the brain of a child with autism, these connections don’t develop normally and are not as organized as they are supposed to. Fortunately, research is continually being conducted to help understand how and why this happens.
TREATMENT: As of now, there is no known cure for Autism, however, intervention from an early age has shown remarkable improvement in the lives of children with Autism. Treatments include a combination of traditional speech and language approaches, augmented and alternative communication, and behavioral interventions.
With the help of treatment, children with mild symptoms are able to get through the different stages of school with little to no support. On the other hand, some children will still need some extra support. Whatever the case may be, as long as we provide love and the right kind of help, all children on the spectrum will live fulfilling lives.
Please join us as we work towards ending the stigma associated with Autism by sharing this post on social media or with friends and family. Together, we can create a world that understands Autism.