Have you ever come across an individual having problems with communication, social interaction and an evident recurring behaviour? This host of multiple complicated neuro developmental conditions is characterized as Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The World Health Organization estimates that at least 1 in every 100 children has autism. ASD has no root cause and so it affects people irrespective of their age, race, culture and ethnicity. The data on regions or countries having dominant prevalence are not strong and so doesn’t provide a clear picture. In fact, the reports of autism cases in lower-income countries are either uncertain or not available.
The needs for care and attention for autistic people differ on a case to case basis. The autistic conditions might get severe or fade out eventually with age – there is again no certainty available in medical science as to which way will it swing. Societal pressure is immense on autistic patients and their loved ones which serve as a major roadblock in their education, career and leading a normal life.
In most cases, the prevalence of autism is not known until much later. Plus, autistic people are usually witnessed suffering from depression, anxiety, epilepsy, etc. and a few other psychological conditions. This makes their situation even more worse. Given everything state and national medical efforts are highly crucial for the overall well being of autistic patients.
How to diagnose autism?
Autism is not a new concept which was recently introduced to the medical field. There is no certain methodology to establish that a person is suffering from autism. No blood test, brain scan or any other objective test can determine that a person is suffering.
Causes of Autism
Scientific data on the causes of autism are suggestive and not conclusive.
Genetic and environmental factors are believed to be the primary causes of a child having autism. These are again presumptions and no concrete specifications are available.
The World Health Organization confirms that there is no apparent connection between autism and measles and mumps. Further, the earlier studies that suggested otherwise were flawed.
Why is there an upswing in the registered Autism Cases in the United States of America?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started tracking ASD in 2000. Since then the prevalence rate of autism cases has tripled until 2020. As mentioned earlier, autism is not novel. The upswing in the number of cases being reported is due to the following broad reasons:
Awareness amongst parents/guardians:
Parents are more agile, having decent medical acumen. The moment they see any signs that even remotely suggest autistic behaviour they immediately consult a paediatrician.
This awareness has helped in early diagnosis which is key to treating autistic children.
Screening Programmes are more elaborative and extensive
Back in 2006, as per the suggestion given by the American Academy of Pediatrics, children in the age group of 18-24 months were screened for autism – this was a game-changer. More children were screened right from early childhood and apt and suitable treatment was provided.
Changing in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Previously, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders banned conducting any tests on children. This served as a roadblock as the cases of autism were detected only in adulthood.
With the advent of changes in DSM-5, this barrier is taken care of.
This April while we celebrate World Autism Awareness Day do not forget to watch out for any signs of autistic behaviour in your loved ones. More so, spread awareness and be kind to the patients suffering. To know more, book an appointment today with True Health for yourself and your loved ones. For more details visit our website or call on (631) 581-0737 or send us an email at email@example.com.