As noted, April second is autism awareness day, as designated by the united nations since 2007. Accordingly I decided to dedicate this blog to spreading the awareness in the most public forum I imagine I can. Autism spectrum disorder is one of only health issues to have its own day recognized by the international body. To begin I would like debunk some common misconceptions regarding Autism. The first is that Autism is a rarity, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who states that 1 in 68 children fall under the disorder. However this suggestion regarding number estimates has no evidence other than the behavioral acknowledgements from doctors. It is suggested as well in these numbers that increased awareness and better knowledge about the disorder by doctors are allowing for more children to be diagnosed. Another common misunderstanding is that all people who fall under the category experience the same symptoms. Parenting and other environmental factors cannot trigger autism either. Some autistic individuals may have learning difficulties but that number now is estimated to be between 1 in every 200, to 10% of people. However it is more common for individuals to have trouble with communication and social interaction. From personal experience I do not see this to be a serious problem for most cases. My nephew who is 12 was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and does at times have trouble with how to have appropriate social interaction. It is not hampering him in many ways though from what the outside world see's. He is a smart boy who has exceptional math skills and a great memory. For what he may lack in one area he is gifted in, in others. The spectrum of the disorder varies vastly and some cases are worse than others, but as the research continues and awareness continues to spread it is predictable that we will continue to better understand the disorder. Once we do that the treatment and quality of life for those individuals as well as those around them will continue to improve.
Alex Rogers, 4/3/15, 1:35 pm