April 2, 2018, marks the eleventh annual world autism awareness month. It is during this day that you will see most people and dignitaries alike adorning a multicolored puzzle piece ribbon to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout an individual’s life. It not only affects a person’s communication abilities, but it also has a great impact on their cognitive development and how they interact with others.

According to The Canadian Press, 1 in 66 children in Canada is on the autism spectrum. While it occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups, it is more prevalent among boys than it is in girls, where 1 out of 42 boys are diagnosed with autism as opposed to 1 in 189 girls.There is no one cause of autism, however, a genetic predisposition including certain environmental factors have been associated with the increased risk of this neurological disorder. While the following factors by themselves do not cause ASD, they are known to increase a child’s risk of developing autism in the future.They include:

  • The age of the parents during conception
  • Difficulties during birth, such as oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain
  • Extreme prematurity
  • Maternal illness during pregnancy
  • Extreme low birth weight
  • A mother’s exposure to high levels of toxins such as pesticides
  • Harmful drugs taken during pregnancy

Autism is categorized into three different types of autistic spectrum disorders:

  1. Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) – also known as classic autism, this form of autism has a significant impact on language development. Children diagnosed with autistic disorder are also known to be sensitive to sound, the feel of objects and smell. They repeat specific behaviors such as clapping or waving, they get fixated on objects, they rarely use eye contact, they do not show emotion, empathy, or share enjoyment and interests with other children.
  2. On the spectrum – is a specific set of behavioral and developmental disability that associated with ASD, it’s a life-long disability that affects how some individual sees, hears, feels the world and interact with others, which impairs and limits everyday interactions. Because they have a literal understanding of language, they often experience difficulty understanding or even reading other people’s facial expressions, sarcasm, abstract concepts, tone of voice, vagueness,and
  3. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) – people who are diagnosed with PDD have trouble communicating and socializing. They also exhibit repetitive movements and behaviors and have trouble with changes in routine. They find it difficult to follow a conversation, a factor that affects their ability to express themselves through language or to control their emotions. They also perform repetitive behaviors like spinning in circles or rocking and avoid eye contact entirely.

April 18th recognized adult with autism, Beyond Services is dedicated to promote the lives of individuals by creating awareness and promoting community integration. We believe that adults should have the right to live in a environment free of stereotype, discrimination

Visit Autism Canada for more information about Autistic spectrum disorder; https://autismcanada.org