About Autism

About Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around him/ her. The disorder refers to a group of neurodevelopment disorders affecting development in three fundamental domains:

● Verbal and non-verbal communication

● Social interaction skills

● Repetitive behavior

Individuals with autism have difficulty in making sense of the things around them and are unable to relate to others in a meaningful way. No two individuals who are on the ASD are alike. Their disabilities manifest in different forms, and degrees. However, the common features are difficulties with social communication and interaction coupled with learning disabilities.

The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning. However, while some individuals with ASD are able to do all activities of daily living on their own, others require a lot of support to perform the same activities. Some of the early indicators shown by autistic kids are:

● Developmental delays
● Limited speech or communication
● Trouble generalizing skills from one situation to the other
● Difficulty in socializing/ interpersonal relationships
● Have unusual sleep and eating patterns
● Withdrawn and isolated
● Need substantial support for activities of daily living

Autism Spectrum Disorder is recognized as a specified disability under The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. There are conflicting estimates of the prevalence of autism in India. However, most studies show that the incidence of autism has grown at a very rapid pace in recent years. According to the latest research, nearly 1 in 100 children in India under age 10 has autism. This shows a phenomenal increase. Sadly, there are not enough specialized schools to keep pace with the rising numbers.