Prevalence of Autism
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has estimated in the United States alone, the diagnosis of autism continues to rise. Autism is diagnosed at a greater rate than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined (DAS, 2010). According to Autism Speaks, it is estimated that there may be more than 1.5 million individuals with autism. It is estimated that 1 in 42 are boys and 1 in 189 are girls (CDC). The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that the prevalence rate among males is 4 times higher than females (Quirantes, 2009). The CDC reports that ASD now effects 1 in 59 children.
What causes Autism?
The etiology of autism continues to be a mystery. It is often described from a biological perspective and classified as a neurological disorder (Quirantes, 2009). Experts speculate that a combination of genetic and environmental influences have been considered. Currently, through extensive research, the answer to the cause of autism continues to be an idiopathic phenomenon, and science has not yet found the exact cause.
Possible Signs of Autism:
Limited, absent and/or avoidance of eye-contact
No babbling, vocal sounds, non-verbal, no words or effective communication
Loss of previously acquired speech
Prefers solitary activities
Hyperactivity (very active)
Impulsivity (acting without thinking)
Aggression and Meltdowns, may be due to absent speech or communication
Causing self injury
Unusual eating and sleeping habits
Lack of fear or more fear than expected
Restricted activities, interests and routines
Repeats words, phrases, songs (Echolalia)
Repetitive behaviors such as flapping hands, rocking, spinning objects and toys such as wheels of cars (Stimming).
Sensitive to sounds, textures, lights, colors, smells and food.
Difficulty understanding, or showing understanding, or one's own or other people’s feelings
Avoid or resist physical contact such as hugs, holding hands, or sensitivity to touch
Inflexible to change in routines and/or schedules
Stim or Stimming is best described as self-stimulatory behavior and is sometimes also called, "stereotypic" behavior that a child with autism is often observed to engage in and may include repeating words, songs, or phrases.
As autism is a spectrum disorder, not all children diagnosed with autism will display the same symptoms.
Excerpt from Dr. Lam's dissertation research: The Experience of Asian American Mothers Raising Children with Autism. This research can be found at:
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