Autism Awareness: What is Autism?
As I mentioned yesterday, I’m on a quest to educate myself about autism for the month of April as this month is recognized as Autism Awareness month.
I guess the first question one would ask is:
What is autism?
When I put these exact words in a search, one of the first websites that popped up was www.autismspeaks.org; this website is very informative and they describe autism as follows:
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual, all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Previously, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.
ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.
Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs of autism and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between 2 and 3 years of age…
So in a nutshell, we see that…
Autism is now referred to as “autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and generally individuals with this disorder have difficulties with social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication (the degree of difficulty varies) and they may also exhibit repetitive actions (i.e. ‘flapping their arms, rocking from side to side, or twirling’) . However, it has also been noted that there are individuals with ASD who excel in visual skills, music, math and art.”
I’m not sure what I will post about tomorrow, but check back tomorrow because I will definitely be posting some more information about ASD.