What is Autism?
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that mainly affects the person’s communication and social skills. It is characterized by rigid and repetitive behaviors and is neurological and behavioral, in nature. It occurs in 1 of 45 children in the United States alone and also occurs four times more in boys than in girls.
ASD begins early in childhood and can persist into adolescence and adulthood. There are some great outcomes that enable the person to live independently, but some may have severe disabilities requiring lifelong support.
Stigma is a horrible and a harmful thing. If you are seen as different, people can be rude, unwelcoming or just downright cruel. If you have a child who experiences Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) I’m sure you would have experienced some level of stigma in your lives. You have likely been through a time when you and your child have been judged, ridiculed, criticized and even ostracized. This type of behavior can be extremely hurtful. Over time it can cause depression, shame and impact self-esteem and confidence.
Your child may have just been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (also known as ASD) or you may have heard the teacher mention it. Your child might have a friend with ASD or you may just have some concerns about how your child is developing socially. A good place to begin in any of these situations is to first have a good understanding of what ASD is.
You may have heard that as of May 2013, a new version of the manual used by professionals for the diagnosis of mental and developmental disorders (DSM) was brought out. With this new manual, the way we look at a few developmental disorders such as Asperger’s syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) changed. Instead of these disorders being recognized separately, they were combined under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This has caused some confusion for individuals who were diagnosed with one of these disorders and to parents of children with these disorders. If this might be you, you’re probably wondering what this change means. Below we’ll discuss what this means for you and where to go from here.
Mental health issues affect millions of people each and every day around the world. There are people as young as four or five with signs of mental illness. You wouldn’t think a child would be affected by mental illness or act out because of it and yet it occurs so very often. Unfortunately, there are millions of children around the world facing a wide range of mental health issues. It isn’t always the parents’ fault either but when you are the parent or guardian of that child you want to do your best to try and help them. So, what help is available to a child with mental health issues and is there really any way to treat their conditions?
Autism can be a tough condition to deal with in a child and adult. For families, they don’t always know how to spot the signs and even after diagnosis it doesn’t ring true. It can be hard to take in the news that there is something wrong with your child and it’s devastating, too, because you think you must have done something wrong to cause it. Unfortunately, it’s a condition that occurs through no fault of your own at times and it can have a lasting impact on a family. What about diagnosing the condition and understanding what it all means?