spacer
spacer
spacer
You can help solve the puzzle of Autism
kid

About Autism

Autism, ASD, is a puzzling neurological disorder for which there is no known cure. Autism affects language and communication in ways such as delayed language, pronunciation difficulties, and understanding how to use language to interact. Frequently these difficulties require years of speech therapy or prevent any language development at all.

Along with language, it affects social skills. Those with autism have extreme difficulty understanding or recognizing feelings of others, empathizing, and following social rules and the subtleties of social interactions.

Autism causes resistance to change. Transitions and generally anything unexpected are difficult obstacles in daily living.

Being a neurological disorder, the nervous systems of those with autism are easily over stimulated by sights, smells, sounds, and anything unexpected in public which produces inappropriate behavior and/or exaggerated responses. Sometimes people with autism calm themselves with a “stim” or stimulation such as spinning themselves or an object, waving their arms, stroking or holding a familiar object, or reading or talking about a subject of interest.

Autism is a spectrum disorder which means it ranges from mild to severe. It is commonly referred to as ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. The mildest form is Asperger’s Syndrome, and those with this diagnosis, though able to achieve excellent grades in school, still struggle with social relationships which can later impact their career choices. People with Asperger’s may be undiagnosed for years being considered agonizingly uncooperative, obsessive, or inflexible —all traits which can be addressed once diagnosed. Even those mildly affected may require modifications in school and a lifetime of at least some support from parents, family members, and other professional personnel. PDD-NOS which is Pervasive Developmental Delays – Not Otherwise Specified and ADD which is Attention Deficit Disorder are also considered part of the Autism Spectrum. Those most severely affected may never speak and suffer constant discomfort in unfamiliar places and new situations.

Autism occurs four times more often in males than females. According to findings of the Centers for Disease Control released March 2014, ASD affects one in every 68 children born.

Despite these somber facts, people with ASD can lead happy and productive lives. Early intervention is important in improving the condition, but parents and professionals need to balance therapies with the child’s choice of play time, if appropriate, which all children need to thrive. Caretakers can learn ways to help “manage” or improve the condition of autism such as behavioral modification, various therapies, medications, special diets, visual aids, and tasks to develop academic and daily living skills. Speech, occupational, and physical therapy may also be an important part of addressing deficits. Families can also lower stress as they learn to work effectively with teachers and make financial plans for the future. Fun activities such as a variety of camps are available in many communities. Families can feel isolated, but they can find support from groups such as the Autism Society who holds meetings with educational speakers and the opportunity to meet other families, as well as educators and therapists. Online support groups and sibling support are also available.

Potential employers should note the positive attributes of someone with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. People with autism thrive on routine, so they are usually on time and respect schedules, and they do well with following steps in a process. Those with autism are extremely honest. If able to work in an area of interest, they will learn as much as humanly possible about it. Often creative in some way, they are usually visual learners and thinkers and offer a fascinating and refreshing perspective which could be valuable to an employer in rethinking business ideas. Some complete their college education, even with graduate degrees, and with clear directions and some social coaching, make knowledgeable, hard-working, insightful employees.

Until the puzzle of autism is solved, your local Autism Society is stepping up to the plate to help those with autism, their families, and their teachers here and now.



box  Back to Top  box
 
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
Call Us at 704-894-9678 ex. 1615
Copyright © 2017 Autism Society of North Carolina Mecklenburg County Chapter.
All Rights Reserved. | Terms & Conditions