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Its World Autism Awareness Day today, know the ABC of autism
World Autism Awareness Day is being observed today (April 2) to raise awareness about children and adults suffering from autism throughout the world and to improve their human rights. The observance is one of the four official health-specific UN Days to discuss issues such as research, diagnosis, treatment, and overall awareness of the care and services needed by autistic persons.

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ADS) pertains to a range of conditions mainly characterised by challenges with verbal and social skills; slow pace of learning; repetitive behaviours of speech; and repetitive non-verbal communication coupled with some unique strengths and differences.

We now know that there is not just one single autism, but many types, which are caused both by different combinations of genetic and environmental factors. That's why the term spectrum is used and it reflects a variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each autistic person.

Thus, in case of ASD, the range and severity of symptoms can vary widely and appreciably. However, some common symptoms for a layman or parent to observe are difficulty with communication, difficulty with social interactions, obsessive interests and repetitive behaviours.

Early detection and intervention is always helpful to reduce the environmental factors related to nurturance and education. It has been found that the signs of autism become obvious mostly between the age of 2 and 3 years.

If not addressed early, ASD can impact the nervous system of the child and affect his or her overall cognitive, emotional & social development as well as the physical health which makes education and rehabilitation of the child even more difficult and challenging.

Early detection before the age of 3 years coupled with behavioural, educational and family therapies are capable of reducing symptoms and supporting the child's development and learning.

Here is an ABC verse on autism.

A:  Around two-third of autistic persons have non-verbal and intellectual difficulties.

B:  Bad handling, improper care, exclusive education and non-adaptive education can lead to severe mental and physical health problems for most of the autistic children.

C: Characterised often by challenges with verbal, social and intellectual skills.

D: Diagnosis include that of Autistic Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.

E: Early detection and intervention can improve outcomes.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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