How Many People Are Affected
Around one in every 100 people in the world has autism.
There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK, but too many of their lives are limited by the public not understanding the challenges they face, Harris says.
In 2015, a report funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation stated that approximately 37.2 million people across the globe are affected by Asperger syndrome.
Do Symptoms Of Autism Change Over Time
For many children, symptoms improve with age and behavioral treatment. During adolescence, some children with ASD may become depressed or experience behavioral problems, and their treatment may need some modification as they transition to adulthood. People with ASD usually continue to need services and supports as they get older, but depending on severity of the disorder, people with ASD may be able to work successfully and live independently or within a supportive environment.
Treatments To Improvecommunication For Those With Autism
There is nospecific treatment or commonly accepted approach to treating ASD. As thesituation can vary with each individual, uniform therapies are not alwayssuccessful at improving ASD conditions.
Thereare, however, strategies, when tailored to someones specific needs and ASDdiagnosis, that prove helpful in allowing them to better cope with autism.
Thesignificant treatments and interventions for improving communication amongthose with ASD include:
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Some People Use Other Names For Autism
There are other names for autism used by some people, such as:
- autism spectrum disorder the medical name for autism
- autism spectrum condition used instead of ASD by some people
- Asperger’s used by some people to describe autistic people with average or above average intelligence
Unlike some people with autism, people with Asperger’s do not have a learning disability.
Some people call this “high-functioning” autism.
Doctors do not diagnose people with Asperger’s anymore.
But if you were diagnosed with it before, this will stay as your diagnosis.
Growing Old With Autism
For many autistic adults, the golden years are tarnished by poor health, poverty and, in some cases, homelessness. Their plight reveals huge gaps in care.
by Rachel Nuwer;/;18 March 2020
Kurt remembers very little of what happened during the 4th of July weekend in 2009. Then 49, he had been in his apartment when all of a sudden he became dizzy, nauseous and unable to speak properly. The right side of his body felt sluggish, so he called a friend to take him to the hospital and then staggered to his bed.
When Kurts friend arrived, he phoned Kurt but got no answer. Peering through a window, the friend spotted Kurt in bed, not moving, so he ran to find the building manager, who let him in.
The friend helped Kurt to the car and drove him to the hospital, about a mile away in Silver Spring, Maryland. A neurologist there determined that Kurt had had a stroke. His speech was garbled, and he had trouble moving one of his legs. After talking with Kurt, the doctor jotted down an additional diagnosis code for Asperger syndrome, a form of autism.
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How Common Is Autism
In 2018, the Centers for Disease Controls Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring reported that approximately 1 in 59 children in the United States has been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder . This estimate is a 14% increase from the 1 in 68 rate in 2016 and a 47% increase from the 1 in 88 rate in 2012. In the 1980s autism prevalence was reported as 4 in 10,000. In the nineties, prevalence was 1 in 2500 and later 1 in 1000.
It is problematic to compare autism rates over the last three decades, as the diagnostic criteria for autism have changed with each revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual , which outlines which symptoms meet the criteria for an ASD diagnosis. In 1983 the DSM did not recognize PDD-NOS or Aspergers syndrome, and the criteria for autistic disorder were more restrictive. The previous;edition of the DSM,;DSM-IV, included autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, PDD-NOS, and Aspergers Syndrome. Due to inconsistencies in diagnosis and how much we are still learning about autism, the most recent DSM only has one diagnosis, autism spectrum disorder , which encompasses each of the previous four disorders. According to the new diagnostic criteria for ASD, one must have both deficits in social communication and interaction, and restricted repetitive behaviors, interests, and activities .
What Are The Signs Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Signs of ASD range from mild to severely disabling, and every person is different. The following signs are considered to be red flags that indicate your young child may be at risk for autism. If your child shows any of the following signs, please get in touch with your childs healthcare provider to discuss a referral for an autism evaluation.
The signs include the following:
- Your child doesnt respond to their name being called at all or responds inconsistently.
- Your child doesnt smile widely or make warm, joyful expressions by the age of 6 months.
- Your child doesnt engage in smiling, making sounds and making faces with you or other people by the age of 9 months.
- Your child doesnt babble by 12 months.
- No back-and-forth gestures such as showing, pointing, reaching or waving by 12 months.
- No words by 16 months.
- No meaningful, two-word phrases by 24 months.
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age.
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There Are More New Job Opportunities Than Ever Before
Many large corporations have begun to see the value of hiring employees on the autism spectrum. The accounting firm Ernst & Young, for example, has a neurodiversity program that reaches out to autistic adults who have the math skills and focus others may lack. Other companies with autism-specific outreach programs include SAP and Ford.;
In addition, quite a few smaller companies are building their business around autistic strengths and abilities. Rising Tide is a carwash company in Florida that has attracted a lot of attention for its autism focus, but it’s by no means alone.
It’s worthwhile keeping an eye on autism employment news, as opportunities are popping up all the time.;
What Research Is Being Done
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.; NINDS and several other NIH Institutes and Centers support research on autism spectrum disorder.;
Nearly 20 years ago the NIH formed the Autism Coordinating Committee to enhance the quality, pace, and coordination of efforts at the NIH to find a cure for autism. The NIH/ACC has been instrumental in promoting research to understand and advance ASD. The NIH/ACC also participates in the broader;Federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee , composed of representatives from various U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies, the Department of Education, and other governmental organizations, as well as public members, including individuals with ASD and representatives of patient advocacy organizations. One responsibility of the IACC is to develop a strategic plan for ASD research, which guides research programs supported by NIH and other participating organizations.
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Changes In Autism Statistics Over Time
Over the last two decades, the number of autism diagnoses has more than doubled. In 2000, about 1 in 150 children was diagnosed with ASD, compared to 1 in 54 children as of 2016.
Additional studies on developmental disabilities in children in the U.S. have recognized a similar trend. From 2009 to 2017, the percentage of children with autism increased from 1.1% to 2.5%.
According to the Autism Society, the prevalence of ASD has increased between 6% and 15% each year from 2002 to 2010 and will likely continue to rise at this rate. Currently, over 3.5 million people in the U.S. have an autism diagnosis. Roughly 1% of the global population has ASD.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression
Some;symptoms for depression are the same for anyone,;whether;you;are autistic or not.;As well as persistent low mood, you may also:;
- feel helpless;
- lose motivation or interest in things;
- feel;anxious or worried.;
You may also experience physical symptoms such as:;
- moving or speaking more slowly than usual;;
- changes in appetite or weight ;;
- lack of energy;
- disturbed;sleep for example, finding it difficult to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning.;
There could be other symptoms such as not wanting to see friends as much, or neglecting hobbies or interests that you previously enjoyed.;;
There is some evidence to suggest some specific signs of depression in autistic people. These may include:;;
- an increase in repetitive and obsessional behaviours;
- withdrawing socially or changes to your normal engagement with other people.;
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Are Siblings At Greater Risk For Autism Spectrum Disorder
The truth is that genetics do play a role in autism. When one child is diagnosed with ASD, the next child to come along has about a 20% greater risk of developing autism than normal. When the first two children in a family have both been diagnosed with ASD, the third child has about a 32% greater risk of developing ASD.
Who Is Affected By Autism
Although tens of millions of people worldwide carry the diagnosis of autism, this disorder affects more than just those individuals who have it. Parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, community workers, and friends are also affected. In addition, public education and health systems are paying billions of dollars to care for children on the autism spectrum, and they receive their funds from individual taxpayers. No matter what the official worldwide prevalence rate is, nearly everyone in the world is at least indirectly affected by this devastating disorder.
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Occupational And Speech Therapies
Bothcritical steps in ensuring those with ASD can live healthy, normal lives,occupational and speech therapies help teach skills that many of us regularlytake for granted.
Occupationalskills include showing those with autism how to dress, and take care ofthemselves hygienically. Speech therapy refines the speech, tonal subtleties,and facial mannerisms of everyday speaking, allowing the individual tocommunicate effectively without distress or anxiety.
Anotherextension of this is verbal behavior therapy, where the contextual use ofproper language is taught showing those with ASD meaning and reasoning behindthe words both they and others around them use.
Reflections On Parenting With Autism
Jessica Benz of Dalhousie in New Brunswick, Canada, is the mother of five children. She received her autism diagnosis as a result of seeking answers to her kids’ challenges. Here are her reflections and tips on parenting as an adult on the autism spectrum.
What led you to discover your own;autism;diagnosis? Do you recommend seeking a diagnosis if you think you might be diagnosable?
My own diagnosis came about as an adult;after two of my children had been diagnosed and we began to discuss family history with one of the psychologists we worked with.;When I mentioned certain experiences as a child lining up with what I saw in my own children, a light bulb went off.
I pursued further screening and assessment from there, if only to better understand myself as a person, and as a parent. I think that more information is always better, especially about ourselves. If someone feels like autism;might be part of the tapestry making up their own lives, it is worth asking about it and asking for an assessment.
Just as we check laundry labels for care instructions, the better we understand what makes up our own lives and selves, the better we can ensure we are using the right settings in terms of self-care and interaction with other people.
Did learning that you are;autistic;affect your decision to have children? And if so, how did you make the decision?
What kinds of;parenting;challenges do you face because you are;autistic?
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What Disorders Are Related To Asd
Certain known genetic disorders are associated with an increased risk for autism, including Fragile X syndrome and tuberous sclerosis each of which results from a mutation in a single, but different, gene. Recently, researchers have discovered other genetic mutations in children diagnosed with autism, including some that have not yet been designated as named syndromes. While each of these disorders is rare, in aggregate, they may account for 20 percent or more of all autism cases.
People with ASD also have a higher than average risk of having epilepsy. Children whose language skills regress early in life before age 3 appear to have a risk of developing epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. About 20 to 30 percent of children with ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. Additionally, people with both ASD and intellectual disability have the greatest risk of developing seizure disorder.
Problems With Communication And Social Interaction
These can include:
- issues with communication, including difficulties sharing emotions, sharing interests, or maintaining a back-and-forth conversation
- issues with nonspeaking communication, such as trouble maintaining eye contact or reading body language
- difficulties developing and maintaining relationships
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Social Communication And Social Interaction Challenges
Autistic people have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice. Some autistic people are unable to speak or have limited speech while;other autistic people have very good language skills but struggle to understand sarcasm or tone of voice. Other challenges include:
- taking things literally and not understanding abstract concepts
- needing extra time to process information or answer questions
- repeating what others say to them
Autistic people often have difficulty ‘reading’ other people – recognising or understanding others’ feelings and intentions – and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard to navigate the social world. Autistic people may:
- appear to be insensitive
- seek out time alone when overloaded by other people
- not seek comfort from other people
- appear to behave ‘strangely’ or in a way thought to be socially inappropriate
- find it hard to form friendships.
Read more about;social communication and social interaction challenges here
Adult Services Vary By Location
While the IDEA law is federally mandated, adult services to individuals with disabilities are not. Most adult programs and services are paid for and managed by the state, with some programs available only on a local level. Some states are more generous with their funding than others, some have more disability-friendly employers than others, and so forth.;
According to a survey conducted by the non-profit organization Autism Speaks, the metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Boston are among the 10 best places in America to live for people who have autism. Survey respondents in these areas were happy with the services and programs their cities provide, including educational services and flexible employer policies.
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The Real Reasons Autism Rates Are Up In The Us
A hard look at whether the rise comes from more awareness, better diagnosisor something else;
The;prevalence;of autism in the United States has risen steadily since researchers first began tracking it in 2000. The rise in the rate has sparked fears of an autism epidemic. But experts say the bulk of the increase stems from a growing awareness of autism and changes to the conditions diagnostic criteria.
Heres how researchers track autisms prevalence and explain its apparent rise.
How do clinicians diagnose autism?There is no blood test, brain scan or any other objective test that can diagnose autismalthough researchers are actively trying to develop such tests. Clinicians rely on observations of a persons behavior to diagnose the condition.
In the U.S., the criteria for diagnosing autism are laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders . The criteria are problems with social communication and interactions, and restricted interests or;repetitive behaviors. Both of these core features must be present in early development.
What;is the prevalence of;autism in the U.S.?The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that;1 in 68children in the U.S. have autism. The prevalence is 1 in 42 for boys and 1 in 189 for girls. These rates yield a gender ratio of about five boys for every girl.
This article is reproduced with permission from;Spectrum. The article was;first published;on March 2, 2017.
What Is The Outlook For People With Autism Spectrum Disorder
In many cases, the symptoms of ASD become less pronounced as a child gets older. Parents of children with ASD may need to be flexible and ready to adjust treatment as needed for their child.
People with ASD may go on to live typical lives, but there is often need for continued services and support as they age. The needs depend on the severity of the symptoms. For most, it’s a lifelong condition that may require ongoing supports.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Through research, there has been much that has been learned about autism spectrum disorder over the past 20 years. There is ongoing active research on the causes of ASD, early detection and diagnosis, prevention and treatments.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/29/2020.
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The Outlook For Autism In 2021
While autistic individuals face difficulties that make various aspects of life more challenging, greater knowledge about the disorder has paved the way to better therapies. Autism research has allowed for more effective diagnostic processes as well as enhanced treatments and a better understanding of necessary accommodations for those with the disorder.
Effective interventions, therapies, and health care services greatly improve quality of life for those autism. Thanks to these advancements in our approach to autism treatment, there are more opportunities for autistic individuals than ever before.