When we don’t understand something or someone, we tend not to acknowledge it. Autism is a condition that can be difficult to understand, but it is more common than people think.
PART 1 OF A SERIES
By | Chloe Cabanlig
Autism, otherwise known as Autism Spectrum Disorder, is a developmental disability. It is not a learning disorder but a neural mental disorder. Autism is more common than you think. It is estimated that one in every 66 kids in Canada are diagnosed with autism.
Of all youths 5 to 17 years old, males are four times more likely to have autism than females: one in 42 males and one in 165 females are diagnosed.
Every autistic kid is different and they can have certain strengths and challenges. The main ones are delayed cognition, communication, and social skills.
Delayed cognition is a developmental issue affecting attention span, language, learning, memory, perception, and thinking. Because every kid is different, not all kids struggle with delayed cognition. For example, one individual may have a great memory, but have a harder time with language.
There are two components of language: receptive and expressive. Receptive language is understanding and responding to the communicator’s instruction or questions. Expressive language entails asking for information.
In terms of communication, kids with autism can be either verbal or non-verbal, or a combination of the two. The “verbal” are able to communicate by talking, while the “non-verbal” kids are unable to speak or speak very little. Even though they are non-verbal, there are still many ways they can communicate.
The Touch App (available on the iPad) is an example of a non-verbal method of communication.
Autism is something that is different for every kid and can be found in lots of kids, especially today. It is imperative that we continue normalizing this disorder.