Children Health

25 Surprising Facts of Autism


To let public understand Autism Awareness, we are sharing some surprising facts about autism spectrum disorder ASD. Autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 68 kids in the United States. However, a lot of people have no clue about the multi-million dollar cost of autism spectrum disorder, the genetic links of autism, or why New Jersey is the autism capital of the US. Following are 25 surprising facts about autism.

1. Social is key

Autism spectrum disorder ASD is not a disorder of intelligence or language. It is actually a disorder built social communication difficulties. This means that someone with autism would find it difficult to read body language or comprehend the importance of tone or sarcasm.

2. There is no cure

Currently there is no cure for autism but there are a variety of behavioral therapies that can greatly improve how a person with autism spectrum disorder acts. Behavioral therapies include speech, occupational therapy, or applied behavioral analysis.

3. First described in 1943

Autism has been existed for centuries, but Dr. Leo Kanner was the first person to describe autism in his 1943 paper Autistic Disturbances of Effective Contact. Regrettably Dr. Kanner was not aware of everything we now know about autism, which means a lot of myths surrounding autism were formed.

4. No refrigerator mothers

For a long time, there was a theory of why autism happened. There was this idea that mothers that were cold and distant from their children caused autism to develop. This idea has since been proven to be a big myth.

5. Vaccines do not cause autism

Although you may hear this on the television, science has shown several times that vaccines do not cause autism spectrum disorder. This myth regarding autism is based on a false study of 12 children created by Doctor Andrew Wakefield.

6. Late diagnosis is common

Unfortunately, although parents often report noticing differences in their children at a young age, many children are not diagnosed for years in cases of milder symptoms. Autism spectrum disorder can go undiagnosed into adulthood.

7. More likely to have older parents

Autism spectrum disorder is a lot more likely to occur in children born to older parents meaning mothers over 35 or fathers over 40.

8. 30-50% also have seizures

The reasons for this are not known, but people with autism also have epilepsy which is a lifelong seizure disorder.

9. Autism and Asperger’s are the same

Autism spectrum disorder is the new circuit 2013 name for what used to be a collection of diagnoses including Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder. Although this Asperger’s fact should be well known by now, many people still have not adjusted to the autism spectrum disorder name.

10. Can lead to focused greatness

Even though autism can make it difficult to manage relationships, it can actually also provide a laser-like focus to things that the person enjoys. Dr. Temple Grandin who is an expert of animal behavior, credits her autism spectrum disorder for her ability to focus on her work with animals.

11. Early treatment is important

It is true that there is no cure for autism, however getting early treatment, speech therapy, occupational therapy, social skills training, and applied behavioral analysis has been proven to have a major influence on the child’s long-term success.

12. Autism on Sesame Street

Sesame Street gave the introduction to its first character with autism spectrum disorder: Julia.

13. Wandering is common

Any child can wander away but research has indicated children with autism spectrum disorder are more likely to wander off into dangerous situations like near pools, rivers and lakes, or busy streets, as compared to children without autism.

14. No medical test for autism

So far, there is no blood test that can identify autism spectrum disorder. Instead, doctors and other professionals utilize a variety of behavioral tests to determine that skills children with autism do or do not have.

15. Autism is everywhere

Unlike many disorders that only develop in certain groups of people, autism spectrum disorder has been noted to develop in many different races and ethnicities and also across the globe.

16. Has nothing to do with intelligence

While a number of children with autism spectrum disorder have a below average IQ almost 44% have average or above average IQs.

17. Unemployment is a major hurdle

Although many people with autism spectrum disorder having normal or above average IQs, many find it difficult to find a job.

18. It is in your genes

We are unable to pinpoint what genes cause but science has proven that there are strong genetic links to autism.

19. Much more common in boys

Boys are actually almost 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder as compared to girls. There is no clear reason why scientists believe that. Girls may show symptoms differently than boys, making them less likely to be diagnosed.

20. New Jersey has highest autism rate in USA

The reasons for this are unknown, but it could signify that something is gravely wrong in New Jersey or it could mean that New Jersey has gotten skilled at diagnosing this tricky disorder.

21. Lifelong care is expensive

Most surprising autism statistics are the costs for caring for a person with autism spectrum disorder. Over a lifetime it can range from 1.4 to 2.2 million dollars for care.

22. Care can be much cheaper

Alternatively to above point, one study actually suggests that these costs can be more than cut in half with early diagnosis and treatment.

23. Differences start young 

Most of the children with autism spectrum disorder remain undiagnosed until they are preschool age. However many did not know the differences can be seen in children with and without autism as early as 6 months old. For instance, babies with autism spectrum disorder do not react to faces the way that babies without autism spectrum disorder

24. More likely to die

In comparison to others their age, people with autism spectrum disorder are two to five times more likely to die. This is generally because of other health conditions more common in autism such as seizures and accidents.

25. Can live happily ever after

Despite what a lot people used to believe, people with autism spectrum disorder can and do live happy lives with the support of their families.

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