Autism Awareness Day


The twelfth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2019. Autism-friendly events and educational activities take place all month to increase understanding and acceptance and foster worldwide support.
Autism’s core symptoms are social communication challenges and restricted, repetitive behaviors.

In autism, these symptoms:

  • begin in early childhood (though they may go unrecognized)
  • persist and
  • interfere with daily living.

One of the most common questions asked after a diagnosis of autism, is what caused the disorder. We know that there’s no one cause of autism. Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and non-genetic, or environmental, influences. These influences appear to increase the risk that a child will develop autism. However, it’s important to keep in mind that increased risk is not the same as cause. For example, some gene changes associated with autism can also be found in people who don’t have the disorder. Similarly, not everyone exposed to an environmental risk factor for autism will develop the disorder. In fact, most will not. The information above is not meant to diagnose or treat. It should not take the place of consultation with a qualified healthcare professional.

Intervention and Supports

Early intervention can improve learning, communication and social skills, as well as underlying brain development. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) and therapies based on its principles are the most researched and commonly used behavioral interventions for autism. Many children affected by autism also benefit from other interventions such as speech and occupational therapy. Developmental regression, or loss of skills, such as language and social interests, affects around 1 in 5 children who will go on to be diagnosed with autism and typically occurs between ages 1 and 3.

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