WHAT IS AUTISM
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a developmental, non-progressive, and lifelong neurological behavioral disorder derived from multiple etiologies. It is a syndrome of thinking, feeling, language and interaction difficulties. It affects functioning of the brain and involves the following specific disorders: child dis-integrative disorder- a rare condition where a child learns skills then loses them by age 10; pervasive developmental disorder- not otherwise specified also called a typical autism; Asperger syndrome- like autism, but with normal language development, and Rett syndrome.
Persons diagnosed with ASD exhibit problems in social communication and interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities . ASD symptoms can be recognized from one and two years of age.
At this age into toddler hood, autistic children show failure to respond to voices or faces of caregivers, look away when held, refuse touch altogether, avoid eye contact and smiling at everyone. Long term issues may include difficulties in creating and keeping relationships, maintaining a job, and performing daily tasks . However, SCAU is mainly focused on autistic children.
As SCAU, we were inspired to act following the high levels of social ignorance about ASD, its severity, neglect, stigma and unwarranted autistic inabilities noticed from previous behavioural studies on communities of autistic persons in the country. ASD may not be eradicated, but can be reduced, victims can be improved and society can be helped to cope with it.
In particular, ASD is treatable and bearable. The sooner it is diagnosed and educated to society, the better the chances of managing it effectively and in harmony.