Two of our children were diagnosed with autism just months apart. When this happened, it made me realize just how little I knew about autism at that time. Even having a brother with autism did not prepare me for the journey ahead of us. It was then when The Mom Kind was truly born. I realized there was a real need for all parents to know about autism spectrum disorder.
There are many different forms of resources and support for autism. Sometimes, the amount of information and different forms of therapies can be overwhelming for a parent to try to digest. The key to understanding and embracing autism (and Neurodiversity as a whole) is through education. Our friend Kelly Tatera has been so kind as to provide us with 8 key things to know about autism spectrum disorder. Thanks Kelly!
With data showing that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) now affects 1 in 68 children, parents aren’t alone in feeling overwhelmed when the initial news of an autism diagnosis is delivered.
Individuals with autism may have a range of developmental delays. They range from challenges with communication and socializing, to difficulties with motor skills or potty training. Thankfully, scientific research continues to teach us more and more about autism. We also benefit from personal stories shared by those in the autism community.
Whether you’re new to the autism community or simply looking to learn more about autism, these are 8 of the most important things to know about autism spectrum disorder.
8 Key Things to Know About Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to develop ASD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1 in 42 boys will go on to receive an autism diagnosis compared to 1 in 189 girls.
- Researchers have yet to figure out why boys are more likely to develop autism. Studies are underway to try and crack the code though. It’s likely that there’s not just one single reason why boys tend to develop ASD more readily than girls, but previous research has suggested that the X and Y chromosome differences in boys and girls may play a role.
- Many children on the spectrum are nonverbal, but there’s hope: research has shown that many children who are nonverbal at age four go on to overcome those language delays. In a study of 535 children with autism, the research team found that almost 47 percent of the kids progressed to become fluent speakers and over 70 percent could speak in simple phrases.
- Autism can be detected and diagnosed by around age two. However, most cases aren’t diagnosed until about four years of age. Unfortunately, delayed diagnoses can prevent a child from receiving therapy during the most critical times of brain development.
- People with autism process sensory information differently. It is very common that they might be over or under sensitive to lights, sounds, tastes, and touch.
- Plenty of evidence shows that early intervention with ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) drives promising results. Simply put: the earlier a child starts ABA therapy, the higher the chance of being mainstreamed into classrooms with neurotypical children. Research has shown that early intervention helps children improve in critical areas like communication, social skills, and day-to-day living skills.
- There are many people with autism that are incredibly gifted in a certain area. For instance, some kids with ASD have exceptional skill in mathematics or music, such that neurotypical adults could never master even with years of practice.
- Researchers are edging closer to earlier autism detection. In a new study published earlier this month, researchers were able to use brain scans and artificial intelligence to predict which 6-month old infants would go on to develop autism as toddlers.
I am an ABA therapist. I couldn’t agree more on the early intervention and therapy. I have kids that have made such incredible strides. They have learned things their parent never thought they could and I have helped them learn skills to help them cope and become more typical with peers. I love what I do and encourage people, parents and teachers to get more involved and learn more about autism. Autism does not define who we are.