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  1. Autism By: Briauna McKnight-Sykes

  2. What is Autism • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development • Since May, 2013, all autism disorders are merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD • ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues • Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art

  3. Autism starts young • The normal or regular things you see and hear from a baby are not present in a child with autism, diagnosed or not • The most obvious signs and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between two and three years of age. • There are ‘red flags’ when it comes to seeing if your child does have autism • Red Flags include: • No big smiles or other ‘nice’ gestures by six months or after • No babbling by 12 months • No words by 16 months so and so forth

  4. Anybody can be Affected by Autism • Famous singer and actress Toni Braxton’s son Diezel is diagnosed with autism • At an early age, she knew something was different about the way he was developing • She had thought to herself that he was not developing like his older brother Denim • She is a spoke person for Autism Speaks, a non-profit entity that is the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization

  5. Repetitive Behaviors • Some children use repetitive behaviors as a way to soothe themselves. • Sometimes it is hurtful to them • Sometimes it is used to stimulate their senses • Other times it serves to calm them in stressful situations • Hand or arm flapping, head banging, finger flicking, jumping, etc. are common.

  6. Social Interaction • Children with autism have a hard time making friends due to their inability to pick up on social cues • Children with autism have to ‘learn what we don’t have to’ i.e. when someone is upset or how to make eye contact • Children with autism have a hard time finding social interaction enjoyable • Children are able to communicate when they want something, but not for entertainment or to just be social

  7. Non-verbal and verbal communication • About 25% of individuals with ASD are nonverbal, but learn to communicate using other means. • Many children with an ASD are delayed in their use of social language and shy away from using speech • Children with ASD are often unable to use gestures to give meaning to their speech • Without gestures or the language to communicate, many children become frustrated in their attempt to make their feelings and needs known

  8. Exceptional Talents Associated with Autism • Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, art, music and math • Special abilities include strong memory skills, musical or artistic ability, math skills, or the ability to focus on one area of interest • A study of eight young prodigies found that three of them were diagnosed with ASD • Four of the eight families included autism reports in second or first degree relatives • And three of those families had 11 close relatives with autism

  9. Facts about autism • Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. • Boys are nearly 5 times more likely than girls to have autism • There is no cure or medical detection • If one identical twin is diagnosed, there is a 90% chance the other one will have it • It is more common that childhood cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined

  10. More facts about autism • In 2008, several autistic children from different families were linked to a single sperm donor called “Donor X” • Many children have a reduced sensitivity to pain, but may be extra sensitive to touch, sound, or other sensory stimulation • A study from three states suggests that counties with higher precipitation levels have higher autism rates • The cost of autism over the lifespan is $3.2 million per person