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Autism? Is It Common?

Updated on April 19, 2009

Statistics and Little Facts!

1 In Every 150 Children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Autism affects 1 in every 150 Million Americans Every Year.

Autism Is the fastest growing Developmentally Disability to date.

When caught early enough Autism care can be cut by 2/3 with early intervention and therapy.

In 10 years the cost will range from $200-$400 million Dollars.

90% of care is in adult services.

A new case of autism is diagnosed nearly every 20 minutes.

Autism receives less then 5% of funding out of all childhood diseases.

Autism is more common in boys than in girls. Roughly four times more common in boys then in girls.

What to look for:

There are several symtoms to look for when diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder:

The most common things that Doctors look for are the way the child/children interact with other people when placed in a social situation. Some autistic children will not respond properly with other individuals and some autistic children will respond nicely. They also will notice that most autistic children will have problems focusing on certain tasks that they are handed. They will appear to have what is called ADD because they can not pay as close attention to what they are asked to do and will switch from task to task with out completing what they were first handed.

Autistic children have tendencies that affect how they view and spend each day. Most autistic children can not handle a change in routine and will have to have the same routine daily with out a change. When a change is involved a autistic child will behave in a manner that is not pleasing to either the child or caregiver or will behave in a manner that may cause harm to themselves.

Most autistic children will also have what is called Sensory Integration Disorder. What this is, Is a disorder that affects how children respond to touching and feeling and how they respond to touching and feeling different things. Most autistic children will not like the feeling of playing in sand, Playing and handeling of playdoh and also will like the involvement of swinging, twirling, and rocking back and forth. Autistic children will appear to hand flap.

When Autism is caught early enough there is therapy that can be introduced to help with how a Autistic child will respond to different situations. With continous therapy and early intervention a autistic child can learn to cope and adjust to the problems that they face.

Therapy Involvement.

In therapy situations A Occupational Therapist and Speech therapist will introduct the child/children into situations that they would typically find as a trigger to make the child respond in a manner that would upset them and slowly work the child into a situation where they are less affected then what they were when first introduced.

In a case where a child would not enjoy the feeling of playdoh and how they play with the playdoh a occupational therapist would set the child down and slowly have the child play with the playdoh and after a while the child would respond to the playdoh as wanting to play with it. They may want to roll it in their hands or they may want to build something out of the playdoh but maybe would eventually want to play with the playdoh and would ask for it without having someone set them down with the playdoh in front of them. Same case scenerio with sand and how they react to the sand.

A child with autism tends to rock themselves and bounce because they are seeking what is called Vestibular Input. This is the process of the tiny hairs on the inside of your ears that affects how your brain sots through the information that is being gathered and helps to place it in the right order in your brain. On a episode of Spongebob you see Squidward trying to make Spongebob into a waiter so that when his Archrival comes he will have a good waiter to wait on him and tells Spongebob to throw out everything in his brain and just act one way. You later on see Spongebob with a bunch of Little Spongebobs in his head running around trying to find something in his brain. This is similiar to what Vestibular Input is. With each of the rocking motions that the child is doing the hairs in his head is sorting what is going on around him and helps to place it in the right spot inside his brain. If your child is seeking this type of input it is highly relevant that you allow your child to do this. This will help your child greatly down the road. This is another reason why a child head bangs with autism. But with that situation is best to place the child in another situation or to have a yoga ball that you feel confident in placing your child on and bouncing them on the ball as this is the same input that they are seeking.

Another therapy that they use is Animal Therapy to help the child learn to respond to the feeling of someone touching them and how they respond to feelings toward other people. This will also help in communicating with the child also. They will learn that they need to communicate with the animal by having to call its name or asking them if they will need something, IE food,water,or bathroom. This will help them to understand and differenciate between one and another. This has shown to be very beneficial with children.

Common or Not So Common?

20 Years ago it was highly uncommon that a child would be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.  Now it seems that more and more children are being diagnosed with autism. A pediatrician will listen to your concerns and will then if they feel that it is a high enough likeability they will forward you to Speciality doctor who will then give your child a standard test that they test in other children your childs age and will determine if your child is at a high enough risk to be tested by a psychologist who will then determine if your child is autistic. With this process it will take several months to get to the bottom of it all but will at the end be concluded as one way or another.

Just so that we can be clear on what we are talking about, Just because your child may be considered to be autistic it does not mean that your child is mentally retarded. A autistic child can be one of the brightest kids but will just have other issues that makes them behave and react the way they do because of other issues. It does not mean that they at some point can not function on their own or will be able to be just like other kids and adults. Most autistic children will go on to act like normal children and normal adults. Many will go on and live happy and healthy lives. Most will one day marry and have children of their own and some will end up in a group home because they can not live on their own.

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