National World Autism Day

Lefty Graves

Autism is a developmental disorder impairing a person’s ability to interact and communicate with others in a normal fashion. Symptoms can vary greatly and include obsessive-compulsive disorders, repetitive behaviors, difficulty communicating, social interaction disorders, and more.

The earlier autism is diagnosed, the sooner behavioral issues can be addressed. It also affects education and family interactions. There are many ways to work with autism and families will be taught how to reduce symptoms and support the person’s development and learning.

There are different levels of autism and many will never be diagnosed with the condition yet they are still on the spectrum. At present, over 200,000 cases of autism are diagnosed annually. Not everyone who has autism struggles with the same issues.

Autism can present itself differently in different persons. It’s not always obvious that someone is suffering from autism. However, for those that it is more obvious the most common symptoms will be a lack of communication skills and touch avoidance.

Autism typically presents by the age of 3 years old and will last throughout a person’s lifetime. While symptoms may improve over time they will always be there. A few cases of autism will present by the age of 12 months while others may not show up until the age of 3.

It’s not unusual for autistic children to meet milestones until they are approximately 24 months of age at which point they may stop gaining new skills and seemingly lose the skills that they previously learned.

Children, adolescents, and young adults may struggle with developmental milestones, maintaining friendships, communication skills, and meeting expectations in school and jobs. Healthcare providers may note such conditions as anxiety, ADHD, and depression in autistic patients. Many autistic people go on to lead a happy healthy and successful life.

How is autism diagnosed?

Only a doctor can diagnose autism. A doctor will use a series of criteria to determine if a person has autism. Autism isn’t able to be tested with a blood, urine, or saliva test.

Are there different forms of autism?

Autism symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another. There are mild to severe forms of autism and it’s considered a “spectrum disorder” which means that it can vary from mild to severe symptoms.

How to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day

There are many great ways to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Join in an event supporting autism awareness.
  • Show your support for someone suffering from autism.
  • Share your personal story dealing with autism (either your own autism or that of a friend or family member).
  • Speak out in support of and in eliminating the stigma associated with autism.
  • Share on social media with #WorldAutismAwarenessDay, #WAAD, #WorldAutismDay.

Remember, autism is a lifelong medical condition that can vary in severity. National World Autism Day was declared to draw attention to autism and how it affects the lives of many. It’s designed to help support research and innovative programs that have been created to support those people who are suffering from autism.

Sources:

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/world-autism-day-april-2/

https://www.rdiconnect.com/what-is-an-autism-meltdown/

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html

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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming & more. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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