About 20 years ago, autism in children was quite low – about 5 in 10,000. Today, however, the number has shot up to 1 in 68!
Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex developmental disorder in the brain. It’s a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) as it impacts various aspects of an individual’s life, leading to difficulties. These difficulties are visible during social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication, and internal and external motivation. Restricted and repetitive behavior are part of the behavior of an individual on autism spectrum. PDD-NOS and Asperger’s Syndrome are classified under ASD. While some characteristics may be milder, others could be more severe.
Autism can be interpreted in many ways. The most apt term, however, is the one coined by Donna Williams, who calls it a ‘bowl of fruit salad’.
Most autistic children look like other kids their age, but do markedly different things from neuro-typical children. Autism symptoms are typically visible in children between ages 2 and 3.
Research has shown that the increase can only partly be attributed to improved diagnostics and awareness. Factors like environmental conditions like vaccinations, pesticides or stress on mothers during pregnancy may be more responsible for higher diagnosis of autism in children, though the world is still awaiting scientific evidence.
Contact us if you want to learn more about autism, PDD or Asperger’s Syndrome.