What Is Autism
The first notion to correct would be that autism is not a mental illness. Individuals with autism have brilliant skill sets and have gone on to be really successful authors, poets, physicians, scientists, politicians, composers, philosophers, etc. Autism is a behavioural disorder.
Symptoms of Autism
Symptoms of autism usually appear between the ages of 12 and 24 months in early childhood. Symptoms, on the other hand, can occur sooner or later.
A significant delay in language or social growth can be one of the first signs.
Autism symptoms can be divided into two groups: communication and social interaction difficulties, and limited or repeated patterns of actions or behaviors.
Repetitive gestures, motions, or speech patterns
Desires and preoccupations are fixed
Strict adherence to particular habits or activities
Increase or decrease in sensitivity to specific sensory input from their environment
Difficulties in expressing feelings, desires, or sustaining a dialogue or relationships
Difficulty maintaining eye contact or reading body language
The exact cause of Autism is unknown but it is suspected to be hereditary or as a result of genetic mutations. Risk factors could also be environmental or as a result of low birth weight.
How is Autism Diagnosed?
Diagnosis usually involves different genetic tests, screenings, behavioural evaluations, audio and visual tests, occupational screening and developmental questionnaires.
Autism has no cure but treatment options could include therapies such as:
Are there support organizations or systems available for autistic kids and autism families, especially in Nigeria? For World Autism Day, Watch as a Nigerian autism mum, Damilola Arokodare, speaks with us on how it has been raising an autistic child in Nigeria. It was a deep conversation on the misconception, stigma, and lack of basic care and funding for families with kids with behavioral and cognitive disabilities. It costs her N300,000 every month for behavioral therapy, no health insurance covers it, no Government coverage, and even NGOs or support groups to turn to.
Watch the video here!