Inspire Foundation has written an expert article to increase awareness of this condition and to help our readers comprehend what it is like to live with autism, both from the perspective of individuals suffering from this condition, as well as from that of their carers.
Every day, the millions of people who live with autism and their families face unique and daunting challenges that many of us may never fully appreciate.
The onset of autism appears in infancy and early childhood and can be seen in the delays in the basic areas of development, such as early words, playing and interaction with others. Some affected by this condition may have only mild impairments, while others have more serious challenges to overcome.
Children on the autism spectrum make up 1% of the child population (Baird et al., 2006). There is a lot of research and different opinions among professionals about what causes autism. There is also a big debate on the best approach to treat it. What is for sure is that everyone agrees that early intervention can improve the development of a child with autism. In fact, for children at risk and children who show early signs, it can make all the difference. Hence, the importance of early detection.
Regression of any kind is a serious autism warning sign. Any loss of previously gained skills, such as early words (i.e. mummy, up, bye bye), babbling, gesturing or social play (i.e. peek-a-boo, clapping hands, waving) should be taken very seriously as regression is a major indicator of the possibility that autism is present.
Each child is unique and will develop at his/her own pace. One must not panic if their child is a little late to talk or to walk – there is a wide range of what is considered “typical’ in development. However, if the child is not within this range and the parent suspects a problem, it is highly recommended that this concern is brought to the attention of a professional.
During National Autism Awareness Month (APRIL), we at Inspire Foundation renew our commitment to better understand autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and improve the lives of those individuals who are living with it.