Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder.
1 in 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Globally, the prevalence of ASD is increasing. This may be due to increased awareness and improved diagnostics and reporting.
Available research evidence suggests that there are many factors contributing to ASD, including environmental and genetic factors.
There is conclusive evidence that there is no association between vaccines and ASD.
ASD consists of a range of conditions characterized by varying degree of difficulties in social behaviour, language and communication, and a narrow range of interests.
Although the symptoms that result in a diagnosis of autism can vary significantly between individuals, the shared commonalities of autistic behaviours include communication-emotional-sensory symptoms that impact an individual and how they relate to others.
ASD can affect an individual’s participation in their communities. They may have difficulty in school and in finding employment. Many individuals diagnosed with ASD can function well and live independently, but some have severe impairments and need long-term care and support.
Caring for children with severe ASD is demanding and can be stressful. Families of children with ASD frequently experience high levels of stress and psychosocial difficulties. These may lead to physical and mental health issues, marital difficulties, and economic problems.
Culture plays an important role in how families cope. Service providers need to be aware of the processes of acculturation and ethnic identity and implement culturally appropriate interventions.
People with ASD have a higher likelihood of needing mental health services due to co-occurring conditions such as depression and anxiety. It can be difficult for people with ASD to access appropriate mental health care.
Mental health services for people with ASD can be effective when treatments account for the specific impact of autistic symptoms on mental health and well-being.
Interventions for people with ASD need to be accompanied by support programs for caregivers as a critical component of ASD interventions.
Globally, access to services and support for people with ASD is inadequate. Individuals with ASD can be stigmatized and often experience discrimination and human rights violations.
Did you know:
Autism was first recognized as a diagnosable condition in the 1940s.
Many people with autism identify strongly with music and many have exceptional musical abilities including extraordinary musical memory and pitch recognition.
Many successful interventions for ASD are music-based.
The significance of music in the lives of people with ASD has been widely observed and researched.
Some of the well-known musicians portrayed as musical savants include the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould and the American composer Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggns.