Throughout April, autism has been in focus as educators, lawmakers, physicians and parents try to educate and raise awareness with Autism Awareness Month.
Autism spectrum disorder is classified as a "developmental disability," according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, with one in every 68 children identified as having ASD. While those with the disorder will typically have no distinguishing look, they display difficulties interacting socially, learn concepts in a different manner and experience "communication and behavioral challenges."
While Utah, according to a recent report from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Project, is no longer the state with the most cases of autism, there remains a need for continued awareness.
To maintain continued awareness, here are a few quick facts about autism:
According to the CDC, the desire to be alone and avoidance of eye contact is a sign and symptom of ASD.
Those with ASD may experience difficulty in relating to other's feelings and have trouble talking about their own.
For those with ASD, touch is often unwelcome or distressing.
While people with ASD may find an interest in people, they have trouble speaking with and relating to them.
Repetition is a common thing for people with ASD. They repeat activities or actions.
A consistent routine is crucial for those with ASD. Deviating from a routine causes stress.
People with ASD often have heightened senses and experience sound, sight, taste, touch and smell in ways unlike those without ASD.
Physicians can usually make a diagnosis by the time a baby is 18 months old. By the age of two a diagnosis "can be considered very reliable," according to the CDC.
While there isn't a cure for ASD, there are many interventional programs available to help children. These programs can help a child with ASD learn to walk, interact and talk.
Physicians do not have one specific cause of ASD pinpointed, but they say genetic factors play a part, including older birth parents and those with tuberous sclerosis or fragile X syndrome. Children whose siblings have ASD have a higher chance of having it too.