April is Autism Awareness Month
Autism is a neuro-developmental disability that impacts an individual’s ability to regulate sensory input, to communicate, to interact socially, and to learn in conventional ways. Autism is also a spectrum disorder and so affects each individual differently and at varying degrees. Early intervention is crucial to mitigate the degree of impact: by learning the signs early, a child can begin benefiting from one of the many specialized intervention programs.Autism knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries Boys are five times more likely to have autism than girls.
Since Autism is considered a spectrum disorder, there is a wide variety of signs that they may vary in severity. Common indicators include:
- Over and under sensitivity to senses: sound, sight, taste, touch and smell
- Impaired social skills (i.e. no eye contact, no age appropriate peers and no emotional sharing)
- Stereotypical or rigid repetitive behaviors (i.e. difficulties with change, abnormal preoccupation) Communication problems and difficulty understanding language (i.e. echolalia, delayed speech, non-responsiveness)
- Problems understanding metaphors—prone to literal interpretation only
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