What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disability and condition that affects how a person sees the world, thinks and feels, and communicates with others in family and society. Autism, as a lifelong developmental condition, lead to some difficulties in social and emotional reciprocity, verbal communicative behavior, and developing relationships with others. Moreover, the autistic person faces sensory issues, both in the shape of hyper-sensitivities (over-responsiveness) and hypo-sensitivities (under-responsiveness) to a wide range of stimuli like sound, sights, smells, etc. These features cause a range of challenging behaviors in autistic individuals. Notably, autism has various spectrums, and even in similar degrees, individuals experience different signs and symptoms.
Symptoms of autism are classified into two types:
1- Social communication issues
Social communication issues or social phobia are among the most common problems that people with autism face. For example:
* They don’t react to their name from childhood
* They don’t communicate with other children and prefer to play alone
* They avoid eye contact
* Physical contact bother them, and try to avoid
* They can’t talk about their feelings and don’t share them with others
* They often face difficulties in spoken language
* Some times, they don’t respond to others, verbally and non-verbally
2- Repetitive behaviors
Other problems that people with autism face are repetitive and restricted behaviors. Such a way that:
* They have repetitive body movements, like moving back and forth, flapping, spinning, etc.
* They stare at particular objects, such as luminous ones
* They focus on particular issues and show extreme interest in some topics
* They can’t follow the routine and persist in change
It is important to remember that not every item on the above list applies to all.
Scientists do not know yet exactly what causes autism. According to research, factors like genetic and the old age of parents are considered effective. Parents with an autistic child (ASD) have a 2 to 18 percent chance of having a second child affected. It should be noted that ASD is five times more common in boys than in girls.
The word spectrum to describe autism means that people with autism face various challenges even in the same range. So it is difficult to pinpoint the exact problems these people face. In some cases, an autistic person has a secondary condition that makes the situation harder for them, such as mental disability, epilepsy, speech and language problems, anxiety and depression, sleep problems, motor disability, etc.
Apart from the above difficulties, people with autism see the world differently. Because of some social issues and repetitive and restricted behavior, other people in society can’t put themselves in autistic person’s shoes and understand them, so they are judged wrongly by others. These difficulties affect their capacity and confidence to interact socially.