We Love You to Pieces - Autism Fundamentals
Posted: Mar 29 2016
April – National Autism Awareness Month
You've probably heard about autism. You may know someone who is on what doctors call the "autism spectrum." It could be someone in your family or a kid at school. But what is autism? How does someone get it?
What Is Autism?
Autism affects the brain and makes communicating and interacting with other people (chatting, playing, hanging out, or socializing with others) more difficult.
People on the autism spectrum often have trouble talking and understanding language from an early age. As they become teens, people on the autism spectrum might have trouble understanding what clothes are cool to wear, or how to play sports, or how to just hang out and talk.
Some people with autism are especially good at music or computers or art — just like other teens. Others may have trouble with speech and balance and coordination (just like other people!). About 40% of people with autism have average or above-average intelligence. The other 60% have intellectual disabilities that range from mild to severe.
How is Autism Diagnosed?
Autism is usually diagnosed when a child is between 18 months and 4 years old. The earlier kids are diagnosed with a spectrum disorder, the sooner they can start getting help with their language and learning skills. There are no medical tests for autism, but doctors may do certain tests to rule out other possible problems, including hearing loss and difficulties with learning and paying attention.
Diagnosing autism can involve lots of health care professionals — such as psychologists, neurologists, speech therapists, psychiatrists, and developmental pediatricians. To decide whether a child has autism spectrum disorder, doctors and other professionals compare the child's levels of development and behavior with those of other kids the same age.
When Someone You Know Is on the Autism Spectrum
You are bound to meet someone with autism spectrum disorder at some point. If you know someone who is on the autism spectrum, try to be understanding and patient. Don't expect the person to view the world the same way you do.
Sometimes it can be hard for teens with autism to interact with other people.
Figuring out what causes autism is hard because of how complicated the human brain is
Current research focuses on genetic causes, but since there are so many genes in the human body, it could be a long time before researchers know exactly which ones are involved.
LAYOP is on board to help raise autism awareness! Our motto is Live At Your Own Pace and that includes EVERYONE. We love that we have the opportunity to share this message with you, please show your support through a purchase of an Autism t-shirt or forwarding this message to others.
LAYOP will be making a donation to our local Autism Organization. We know it’s important to give back!
Information Resource: KidsHealth.org - Autism Speaks