This post is merely for information purposes and is by no means meant to be used to diagnose or offer medical advice on the subject. For such, we strongly advise that you see a medical professional.
About Autism Spectrum Disorder…
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are terms used interchangeably to refer to a group of complex disorders affecting brain development. ASD is a developmental disability and people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. According to recent research, Autism affects more than 67 million people around the world. A child with ASD is born every 45 minutes in SA. Although autism is a lifelong developmental disability condition (there is no cure), early intervention as well as behavioral, educational and family therapies may reduce symptoms and, thus enabling autistic people to enjoy the opportunity necessary to fulfil their potential.
Some facts about ASD...
Developmental disabilities such as ASD are brain-based, neurological conditions that have more to do with biology than with psychology
Not one person with ASD is affected in the same way
ASD is usually diagnosed by the time a child is 3 years old
ASD is found in every country, every ethnic group, and very socio-economic class
Autism is diagnosed four times as often in boys than in girls
Children who are diagnosed with ASD need early intervention as soon as possible
Some Myths about ASD...
Truth:If someone you know has autism, they probably struggle with social skills, which may make it difficult to interact with peers. They might seem shy or unfriendly, but that’s just because he or she is unable communicate their desire for relationships the same way you do.
Truth: Autism doesn’t make an individual unable to feel the emotions you feel, it just makes the person communicate emotions (and perceive your expressions) in different ways.
Truth: Autism often affects an individual’s ability to understand unspoken interpersonal communication, so someone with autism might not detect sadness based solely on one’s body language or sarcasm in one’s tone of voice. But, when emotions are communicated more directly, people with autism are much more likely to feel empathy and compassion for others.
Truth: Often times, autism brings with it just as many exceptional abilities as limitations. Many people with autism have normal to high IQs and some may excel at math, music or another pursuit.
Truth: Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning its characteristics vary significantly from person to person. Knowing one person with autism means just that—knowing one person with autism. His or her capabilities and limitations are no indication of the capabilities and limitations of another person with autism
Truth: Autism stems from biological conditions that affect brain development and, for many individuals, is a lifelong condition.
Truth: Recent research has shown that children with autism can make enough improvement after intensive early intervention to “test out” of the autism diagnosis. This is more evidence for the importance of addressing autism when the first signs appear.
Truth: Research has shown that many people with autism also have gastro-intestinal disorders, food sensitivities, and many allergies.
Truth: In the 1950s, a theory called the “refrigerator mother hypothesis” arose suggesting that autism was caused by mothers who lacked emotional warmth. This has long been disproved.
Truth: The rate of autism has increased by 600% in the last 20 years. In 1975, an estimated 1 in 1,500 had autism. In 2014, an estimated 1 in 68 had an autism spectrum disorder.
Truth: Most insurance companies exclude autism from the coverage plan roughly half of the 50 states currently require coverage for treatments of autism spectrum disorders.
Some ASD government schools in the country...
UNICA School – Pretoria
Tel: 012 460 6539
JHS4Autism – Johannesburg
Tel: 011 643 3050 / 011 484 2429
Vera School – Cape Town
Tel: 021 696 2844
Alpha School – Cape Town
Tel: 021 447 1212/3
Quest School – Port Elizabeth
Tel: 041 581 0964
For more information on ASD…
sources: www.autismspeaks.org ; http://aut2know.co.za/