Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
11 Insightful Facts About Autism
- Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behavior. The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent before a child is three years old.
- Autism now affects 1 in 88 children; 1 in 54 boys, and 1 in 252 for girls. Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have autism.
- There is no medical detection or cure for autism.
- Between 30-50% of people with autism have seizures.
- No one is sure what causes autism. Through twin studies, scientists have determined that autism is a genetically based condition. Autism was originally believed to be a form of schizophrenia brought on by a traumatic experience or bad parenting. This is not the case.
- Autism was first described by Dr. Leo Kanner in 1943. He reported on eleven children who showed a marked lack of interest in other people, but a highly unusual interest in the inanimate environment.
- People with Asperger syndrome usually have some milder symptoms of autistic disorder. They might have social challenges and unusual behaviors and interests.
- Mutations on chromosome 16 have been tied to autism. The glitch is in a DNA region that contains “morpheus” genes, or genes which historically have changed very rapidly as humans evolved. In other words, the same method that helped evolve human intelligence may contribute to autism.
- Dogs have been shown to improve autistic children’s quality of life, independence, and safety. The presence of a trained dog can reduce aggressive behavior, calm the child, and serve as a link to the child’s community.
- A very rare subsection of autism, is autistic savant, or savant syndrome, where the person can score average to brilliance levels of IQ in a limited subject. Some examples could be rapid calculation, art, memory recall, and musical ability.
- One such savant is Kim Peek, or Rainmain, who can read 2 pages of a book, one with each eye, in about 3 seconds. And can recall word-by-word of 12,000 books perfectly.
Stephen Wiltshire, the Human Camera, can glance at complex city structures (like Tokyo or Rome) and draw a panoramic view from scratch, all from memory.
Daniel Tammet can “see” integers giving them unique shapes and colors up to 10,000. He can also learn languages extremely quickly, speaking 11 fluently.
- Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.
- Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average