Today, with the increase in the number of individuals with autism, dozens of different applications and researches are encountered for individuals with autism. In particular, families whose children have just been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder are astounded by this diversity in their online research and desperately resort to each of these alternatives they can try and reach. However, deciding on an alternative means investing time, energy, and money into that application.
Considering that these resources are limited, it is of great importance which application will be chosen and which research results will be followed. At this point, the most important criterion for families and practitioners is that the effects of the applications are supported by scientific researches, in other words, is scientifically based.
The findings of the studies conducted before the 1970s have shown that children with autism have severe mental and behavioral disabilities and the practices applied have little effect on these children. However, since the 1970s, significant developments have occurred in autism research and educational practices. From past to present, among the applications for individuals with autism, early intensive behavioral education is the comprehensive practice whose effectiveness has been supported by the greatest number of scientific studies.
It is observed that individuals with autism who benefit from the practices at the best level are children at the earliest age. The fact that diagnosis is getting easier and the symptoms can be noticed at an earlier age makes it easier for children to get an early education. The behavioral training of early childhood, supported by an intensive program, significantly increases their level of functioning. In addition, the realization of these practices and studies in homes instead of institutions increases the contributions of the application by intervening in all living spaces of the child, increasing the knowledge and skills of the family, and using all the time efficiently.
Early intensive behavioral training, which is recommended due to its significant research support, is a very expensive practice for the family because it requires teamwork and is intense. Non-governmental organizations and academicians operating in the field of autism strive to provide state support through various projects and awareness studies so that all children with autism can benefit from early intensive behavioral training.
Why Is the Incidence of Autism Increasing So Rapidly?
There are two obvious reasons for this rapid increase. One of them is the development and spread of diagnostic tools. Even though it makes it easier to diagnose, it makes the increase higher. Second, environmental factors are thought a trigger of the incidence of autism.
In studies examining the reasons for the increase of this frequency, the reason for this has been explained for different reasons. For example; the diagnosis becomes more obvious and easier, it can be explained by the increase in the number of diagnostic units such as pediatric psychiatry centers or the awareness of the society.
In addition, since autism is a disorder known to occur in the first years of a person’s life, an investigation has been made on newborn children in diagnoses made to date. As a result of the studies on the subject, individuals who show the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder at an advanced age are now included in the scope of the definition, also since the definition has been broadened.
It was noticed that individuals exhibiting symptoms within the definition of autism did not have such ailments at a young age. As a result of some researches that caused the definition of autism to expand, there was a great increase in the number of people with autism around the world. In this way, the authorities emphasized that the awareness that should be gained in society many years ago has been created indirectly and underlines that autism is not a disease, but a need for support.
To explain, the point that draws attention rather than an increase in the incidence of autism is that the definition of the disease is expanded and more people are accepted as on the autism spectrum, and awareness increases, and individuals with autism become more visible.
Numerous studies examining the relationship between vaccines and autism have not found a significant relationship between vaccination and the possibility of having autism. Vaccination is an application that significantly secures public health, especially in terms of childhood diseases. As the prevalence rate increases in vaccination, there is a decrease in childhood diseases in children or a decrease in the course of the disease even if the disease occurs in the child. In cases where vaccination is refused, it is stated that children are at a more serious risk than autism, at risk of death.
There are disorders that accompany autism spectrum disorder. Not all children can use medicines, but sometimes they can be accompanied by such a behavioral disorder. For example, the child is unable to control his impulses and begins to bite his arm; when he gets angry, he can hit his head against the wall very violently, or harm the other person. Impulse control disorder can be seen. In such cases, it is obligatory to get drug support. Just having any education is not enough. Because in order for the child to receive education, the child must be ready for education. Thank God, in today’s world, when you see a child of one and a half and two years old, it is highly possible to be said that “yes this child is on the autism spectrum”.
This point is one of the most difficult events in the world for parents. Imagine, you have children with great dreams, but after the birth, even before your child gets 18 months old age, you see that your child does not communicate with you, does not look at your face, when you clap your hands or when you show something, he or she does not care. This can cause incredible disappointment for parents. Especially after hearing the diagnosis, they may experience a period of depression and inadmissibility for days and weeks.
Does Technology Affect the Prevalence Rate of Autism?
There are many children who are not born with autism and who show symptoms of autism. Unfortunately, three things called television, tablet and phone caused children to experience incredible social interaction problems. In the simplest way, for example, you come across a child, you ask what your name is and you don’t even get an answer. Or you say that I have an object in my hand, follow it, and he or she does not. When you say look at me, he or she doesn’t look at you. At this point, you realize that even if the child was not born with autism, he/she started to show symptoms like autism.
Do not think that autism will necessarily be born congenitally. If the family does not care about the child, the child will only watch cartoons or if he/she only has a phone contact, then the symptoms of autism may begin to appear after 1-1.5 years. It may not be very severe autism, but the child has problems communicating socially. He cannot play games; when you give a toy to his hand, he cannot functionally play with it; and he cannot respond to your gestures and facial expressions.
If the child is already born with innate autistic features, there is no other way than to accept it and trying everything for the child’s education. The family needs to motivate themselves in some way, start treatment, and continue patiently.
But on the other hand, if you have a child who does not have autism, that is not born with autistic features, if he/she spends a lot of time in front of a television, tablet, or computer and starts to show autism features after a while, you will be more regretful as a parent. Television, telephone, a computer should not be in the daily life of children between 0-3. The child must fully communicate with his/her family, friends, and relatives. If this happens, there will be no problem.
There is also a situation in which people risk this incident by saying “this has not been the case with his child”. So their child may not have this situation, but that doesn’t mean that the child won’t be in anyone else. According to experts, such situations began to appear very often.
Families coming to the doctor with complaints such as “When we say her name, she does not turn to us, does not look at us, does not communicate, and does not speak.” When education is given for 6 months or 1 year, the child gets rid of these features that are autism-like. But how? Because the negativities that cause this situation are eliminated and education is started.
At the same time, experts think that the increasing ratio of nuclear families is also effective on this issue. In other words, children do not grow, play, or communicate with five or ten people as before. Only mother, father, and child are at home. In this case, too, the number of people the child communicates with is very small. Maybe science doesn’t focus on that right now. This event remains a bit more cultural, but after a while, this will become a matter of concern.
Some miraculous methods, such as food, diets, oxygen tents, animal therapies, music-drama, and theories have been made to suggest that autism can be controlled by eating. Mothers and fathers also believe them. Unfortunately, there are no miraculous therapies. There are different therapies and helps but it is impossible to cure autism at once.
Due to the nature of autism spectrum disorder, it is a complex, multifactorial, and high inherited disease group and its frequency is increasing all over the world due to the reasons explained above. Currently, there is no effective drug treatment for the main clinical picture of autism. Along with the early diagnosis, intensive education programs specific to individuals and specific to autism are the most effective treatment methods available. However, while raising awareness about the disease in society, it should be emphasized that this information should be at the level of scientific evidence.
What Are The Must-Known Facts About Autism As a Result of Autism Researches?
- Approximately 1 in 54 children are getting diagnosed with autism.
- Among boys, the rate is 1 in 34.
- Among girls, the rate is 1 in 144.
- Boys are more likely to get a diagnosis of autism.
- Even though a child can get a diagnosis at age 2, most children don’t get a diagnosis until age 4. It is mostly the parents’ fault. They don’t want to believe their children have problems. They don’t want to accept their children’s needs.
- Most children with autism have an intellectual disability.
- 1/3 of individuals with autism are nonverbal.
- At least 2/3 of individuals with autism have been bullied during school years, mostly between 9 to 15 years old.
- Nearly 2/3 of individuals with autism are likely to engage in self-injurious and self-harming behaviors.
- Nearly 90% of deaths in the autism community are observed among children who are 14 or younger.
- In the case of autism, there is no selectivity on ethnicity, race, and economical status.
- Education is very important in order to get diagnosed. If the parents are not enough educated and not aware of what autism is, their children are more likely to get diagnosed later.
- Early intervention and early diagnosis of autism are very important in order to get a proper treatment plan. With the proper treatment, people on the autism spectrum can live a better life and quality life. It will be beneficial in their whole life.
- There is no specific testing and assessments for autism. It is based on pediatricians’ observations.
- There is no certain treatment and medicine in order to cure autism spectrum disorder completely.
- Autism is not a deficiency but an awareness.
- Autism was originally named “Kanner Syndrome”.
- Over the past thirty years, a dramatic increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism has been observed. This ratio increased from 1 / 2,500 to 1/150. Part of this increase is probably due to better diagnosis and the changing definition of autism. Autism now includes a wide variety of conditions called autism spectrum disorders.
- Approximately 21.6 million people in the world today have autism spectrum disorder.
- Every 20 minutes, the child is diagnosed with autism in the world.
- The physical development and external appearance of children with autism are not different from their peers.
- Boys tend to have autism 5 times more than girls.
- Doctor Andrew Wakefield, who was claiming a link between vaccines and autism, prepared fake data for his research. As a result, he lost his medical license and was banned from becoming a doctor.
- Professionals in the field have claimed that abnormal growth of the heads of newborn babies can cause autism.
- Currently, 20% of American people think vaccines cause autism spectrum disorder.
- According to an autism theory, the reason that individuals with autism are withdrawn is that their feelings are very strong and they have great difficulty expressing these feelings.
- People with autism are less likely to yawn than other people. The stronger the feelings, the less likely they are to carry out this behavior.
- In fact, there is no difference between the brain structure of individuals with autism and the brain structure of non-autistic people.
- Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy may cause the baby to have autism.
- More than 250 of the cinema scenes in the UK are autism-friendly. It is designed for use by individuals with autism. The sounds are lower and the lights are darker. And you can take food and drink inside with you.
- Although autism is generally assumed to last a lifetime, it has been proven according to a 2008 study that improvements were seen between 3% and 25% of people with autism.
- The sensitivity of most individuals with autism to pain decreases. However, they may be extra sensitive to sound, touch, smell, or other sensory stimuli.
- Some cases of autism spectrum disorder occur with the occurrence of depression in the family.
- Research shows that drama lessons are particularly useful in developing the social skills of children with autism.
- Special dogs are trained to protect children with autism and never be alone. These dogs protect children with autism from various dangers.
- In Belgium, people with autism, bipolar disorder, depression, and other mental illnesses have the right to seek euthanasia.
- The cause of death of 90% of children with autism is drowning.
- The care costs of an individual with autism are very high.
- Everyone has an autism gene in their genes. Although it is not possible to say exactly which gene it is, research results revealed that everyone has tight enough bonds for autism.
- Autism is everywhere. Unlike many diseases that occur only in some groups of people, Autism Spectrum Disorder is reported to occur in many different racial and ethnic groups and all over the world. Autism can be seen in any group regardless of religion, language, race, social status, and economic status.
- There is no medical test related to autism. Unfortunately, there are no blood tests that can diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder. Instead, doctors and specialists in the field use a series of behavioral tests to see what skills children with Autism Spectrum Disorder acquire.
- Autism spectrum disorder is more likely to occur in children born to older parents, that is, in children of mothers who have given birth over 35, or in children of boys over the age of 40.
- Late diagnosis is very common. Although the symptoms begin to manifest themselves at an early age, parents realize this too late or do not want to admit that there is a problem in their child’s development.
- It was believed that mothers who are distant from their children, that is, mothers of cold mothers, had autism. However, recent researches have proved that it is a wrong assumption.
- According to a study, children who live in areas with a lot of rain have a higher risk of autism.
- Autism is not just a disease caused by damage to the brain. Studies have shown that many people have autism-related gastro-intestinal disorders, food sensitivity, and many allergies.
- Autism manifests itself differently in everyone. Some individuals are much more affected by symptoms, while others are much less.
- Experts say that love is a mysterious situation for individuals with autism and this mystery cannot be resolved without guidance. Individuals in the autism spectrum try to categorize love as an object. They can see it as something that needs to be obtained. Since they are in contextual blindness, they love people in their own way because they do not know how to show love. Many individuals with autism can live as a married adult with children. It is not the case that their children have autism as well just because they are on the autism spectrum.
Prevalence Rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Some Countries
- Hong Kong: 372 in 10000 children
- South Korea: 263 in 10000 children
- United States: 222 in 10000 children
- Japan: 181 in 10000 children
- Ireland: 153 in 10000 children
- Switzerland: 145 in 10000 children
- Canada: 106 in 10000 children
- Denmark: 69 in 10000 children
- Singapore: 67 in 10000 children
- Belgium: 60 in 10000 children
- Estonia: 60 in 10000 children
- Finland: 54 in 10000 children
- Norway: 51 in 10000 children
- Netherlands: 48 in 10000 children
- Germany: 38 in 10000 children
- China: 23 in 10000 children
- Taiwan: 5 in 10000 children
- Poland: 3 in 10000 children
This estimation has been done in 2020. There are many reasons for these differences. These reasons could be population, education level, economical level, awareness of autism, and so on.
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