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Autism Amazing facts

40 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Autism | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939), a Swiss psychiatrist, first termed “autism” but applied it to adult schizophrenia.
  2. In 1943, the term was redefined by Leo Kanner (1894-1981) who dissociated autism from schizophrenia to create the modern understanding of the disorder.
  3. Autism has its origin from the Greek autos meaning “self,” autism literally means “alone.”
  4. Autism was initially called “Early Infantile Autism” or “Kanner’s Syndrome.”
  5. Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3.
  6. Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.
  7. It is believed that autism is a combination of genetic vulnerability that is triggered by some kind of social or toxic influence.
  8. Environmental factors that could trigger predisposed genes to mutate and cause autism are drugs, chemicals, heavy metal exposure, antibiotics or infections during pregnancy.
  9. There is no blood test, no scan, and no image that can detect autism. Diagnosis relies on behavioural observation and screening.
  10. As early as infancy, a baby can begin to show the three hallmark features of autism: communication challenges, impaired social interactions, and repetitive behaviour.
  11. It is advised to have autistic testing if a baby doesn’t babble or coo by 12 months, doesn’t point or wave by 12 months, doesn’t say single words by 16 months and doesn’t say two-word phrases by 24 months.
  12. Autism may also be suspected if no response to name or the child loses previously acquired language or social skills at any age or has poor eye contact or excessive lining up of toys or objects and no smiling or social responsiveness.
  13. The late symptoms of autism are impaired ability to make friends with peers, impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation , absence or impairment of imaginative and social play ,repetitive or unusual use of language , abnormally intense or focused interest ,preoccupation with certain objects and inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals.
  14. About 40% of children with autism do not speak. Others might speak, but not until later in childhood.
  15. Autism doesn’t just affect children. Autistic children grow up to be autistic adults. Autism is a hidden disability. You can’t always tell if someone has it.
  16. Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the U.S.
  17. About 24,000 children are diagnosed with autism for the first time every year.
  18. About 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder.
  19. Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births.
  20. Approximately 67 million people worldwide are affected by autism.
  21. Autism is more common than childhood cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined.
  22. If one identical twin is diagnosed with autism, the other twin has about 90% chance of develop an autistic disorder.
  23. Mutations on chromosome 16 have been tied to autism. The problem is in a DNA region that contains genes which historically have changed very rapidly as humans evolved. In other words, the same method that helped evolve human intelligence may contribute to autism.
  24. There is no permanent cure for autism but the right support at the right time can make an enormous difference to the affected child.
  25. Researchers have found that the area of the brain called the amygdala was on average 13% larger in young children with autism compared with children without autism.
  26. Autism is frequently referred to as autisms, because each child’s case is different.
  27. The USA administration advocates universal screening for all infants for autism disorders, as well as rescreening for all 2 year olds.
  28. One in 10 extremely premature infants have been tested positive for autism.
  29. Children who are born more than three months early are likely to have double the expected rate of autism.
  30. Many children with autism have a reduced sensitivity to pain but may be extra sensitive to sound, touch, or other sensory stimulation which may contribute to a reluctance to being cuddled or hugged.
  31. About 20% to 30% of autistic children develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. The reason is not clear.
  32. Girls with autistic symptoms may be suffering from Rett Syndrome. The syndrome affects mainly females, because male foetuses with the disorder rarely survive to term. Development is typical until 6-18 months, when language and motor milestones are lost.
  33. Scientists suggest that people with autism may have abnormal levels of serotonin or other neurotransmitters in the brain, which may have resulted in the disruption of normal brain development early in foetal development.
  34. Research suggests that having an older father may increase a child’s risk of autism. Children born to men 40 years old or older were almost six times more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder than those born to men younger than 30 years old.
  35. Maternal age seems to have little effect on autism risk.
  36. In families with one autistic child, the risk of having a second child with the disorder is approximately 5%, or one in 20. This is greater than the risk for the general population.
  37. Researchers are unclear why boys are diagnosed with autism 4 times more than girls, but some think that the problem lies with the X chromosome, of which boys only have one.
  38. Scholars and parents debate whether autism is a disability or whether it should be considered merely a different kind of personality.
  39. Mothers who have autoimmune diseases such as type1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease have up to three times a greater risk for having a child with autism.
  40. Dogs have been shown to improve autistic children’s quality of life, independence, and safety. The presence of a trained dog can reduce aggressive behaviour, calm the child, and serve as a link to the child’s community.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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