CDS:1% of the world`s population has autism

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Autism
Image courtesy Autism Support Center (Kenya)

In 2021, the Child Development Services (CDS) reported that approximately 1 in 44 children in the United States is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

It is also estimated that about 1% of the world`s population has autism. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.

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It is estimated that worldwide about one in 160 children have ASD according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This estimate represents an average figure and reported prevalence varies substantially across studies. The prevalence of ASD in many low and middle-income countries is known.

Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact. It can also be characterized by atypical patterns of behavior such as difficulty with the transition from one activity to another.  It is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Autism begins in early childhood and eventually causes problems functioning in society. Often children show symptoms of autism within the first year.

Autism spectrum disorder has no single known cause. Genetics and environment have been found to play a role in contracting ASD. In genetics- several different genes appear to be involved in ASD. Genetic changes (mutations) may also increase the risk of ASD.

 Whereas in environmental factors- Researchers are currently exploring whether factors such as viral infections, medications or pollutants play a role in triggering autism spectrum disorder’

Some of the symptoms of autism include delayed movement skills, a socially awkward child, hyperactivity, and epilepsy or seizure disorder. It may also include a child who has trouble with verbal and nonverbal communication.

The risk factors of autism include: Your child`s sex- Boys are more likely to be affected with ASD than girls, family history- families that have one child with ASD have an increased risk of having another child with that disorder, Other disorders- Children with certain medical conditions have a higher than normal risk of contracting ASD. Extreme premature babies are also at a high risk of contracting ASD.

Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be difficult because there is no medical test like a blood test to diagnose the disorder. Doctors thus have to look at the child`s developmental history and behavior to make a diagnosis.

The most effective treatment available today for ASD is applied behavioral analysis (ABA), occupational therapy, physical therapy, and pharmacological therapy.

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