All you need to know about Autism

All you need to know about Autism

World Autism Awareness Day is marked on 2 April to raise awareness of the condition and its impact on individuals and families. On the day, here are key facts, myths and statistics about the lifelong condition.

Although there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, a better understanding of therapies, support and other interventions are available to help adults, children and their parents.

Autism is a condition that affects social interaction, communication, behaviour and interests. It is a spectrum disorder, which means that while autistic people share certain difficulties, the condition will affect individuals differently.

What causes autism?

The exact causes are unknown, but research suggests a combination of genetic and environmental factors may be involved. The condition is not caused by a person's upbringing or their social circumstances.

According to the NHS, most researchers believe a child's genes inherited from their parents could make them more vulnerable to developing autism. Others believe an individual born with a genetic predisposition to autism only develops the condition if they are then exposed to specific environmental triggers, such as certain epilepsy medications.

A number of things have been linked to autism in the past, including the MMR vaccine. Various major studies worldwide have shown no evidence of a link between autism and the vaccine.

It's not contagious

Parents notice when you sweep your children away... but you should know that your kids won't catch another kids' autism.

Skip the judgement

It's easy to make a snap judgment when you see a child acting out. But don't, because you really have no idea why or what it means.

Good education is for all

Your child goes to school. So do kids on the spectrum. And guess what? They all deserve that opportunity.

Be sensitive with what you say

Having autism doesn't mean that kids can't hear. They can. And they feel a lot, too. So, watch what you say -- as you would with any child.

It's not contagious

Parents notice when you sweep your children away... but you should know that your kids won't catch another kids' autism.

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