Autism is not a disease or illness!

Autism is a developmental disability that affects the person’s ability to communicate and interact with the environment around them. It is a lifelong condition and it is 5 times more common in boys than in girls. Most important thing to remember about this condition is that- Autism is not a disease or illness and it cannot be “cured”. Autism includes wide range of symptoms; therefore, this condition is also called Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD ranges in severity from a disability that can interfere with normal life to a more serious disability that may need institutional care. Autistic children may have repetitive, peculiar body movements like rocking, pacing or hand flapping. They may also have unusual responses to people, resistance to change or aggressiveness. In some cases, children with autism may experience seizures. Also, some autistic people may have unusually developed skills in certain areas, such as drawing, music, solving math problems, or memorizing facts. When do the symptoms of Autism become noticeable? Symptoms of autism usually appear during the first three years of life. Some children may show signs since birth. However, some individuals may not show symptoms until demands of the environment exceed their abilities. What Causes Autism? Autism runs in a family, that’s why most researchers think that certain combinations of genes are responsible for autism. However, there are many risk factors that may increase the chance of having a child with autism, like: Delayed childbearing Exposure of pregnant woman to certain drugs, chemicals or medical conditions. This can include the use of alcohol, conditions like diabetes and obesity and the use of ant-seizure drugs. However,...

Down’s Syndrome, Trisomy Twenty-onederful

Hurrah!! I have an extra chromosome. Well, we have something extra and isn’t that cool? Alright, what are we talking about here? We are talking about the condition called Down’s Syndrome. Today many of us having Down’s syndrome are leading a very normal satisfactory life. We did our schooling, got our degree also got a job! We are enjoying every moment in our lives now. But to get here we have overcome lot of hitches and it’s definitely not so easy. Now we really wish that everyone with Down’s Syndrome could reach where we are today. Let’s join hands to bring in awareness to them that they can also do it and we should ‘Leave no one behind’. Down’s syndrome is one of the most common genetic abnormalities seen in humans. It is found in about one per 1,000 babies born each year. In 2015, Down’s syndrome affected 5.4 million individuals globally and resulted in 27,000 deaths, down from 43,000 deaths in 1990. Let us first make you aware of what exactly is Down’s syndrome- Every cell in the human body has genes which carries all the information about how the body will grow, function and look. Genes are packed in rod-like structures called chromosomes. Each cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Down’s syndrome is a genetic disorder in which an individual is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21 in each cell. This extra genetic material leads to physical and developmental changes. Down’s syndrome is associated with mild to moderate intellectual disability, physical growth delay and distinguishing facial features. The average IQ of a young adult with...

A Life With An Autistic Hero

Shyamala & Shreedar – Parents of Arjun My son is the best thing that happened to us in this world.. He’s Arjun – is 7 year old now.. I would like to write about how we travelled with Arjun so far since the time he was born. Arjun was a full term baby born on 19th of August 2009. We celebrated his birth in a grand way and Arjun was our whole life. We enjoyed to watch his each n every milestone.. We were all so happy. Days went by and we slowly started noticing that Arjun was not speaking. We were aware that some are late talkers, so we waited, Arjun started talking but it was not age appropriate. We also made sure to put him in a play school very soon when he was 3, thinking that he will talk soon if he’s going to mingle with kids. One peculiar thing that we noticed in him was, he only repeated what we say rather than answering relevantly. He also got very aggressive and couldn’t express what he feels. It started to happen so frequently and he got mood swings so often, we got many complaints from his school also. Scenario made us approach an Occupational Therapist. Yes we took a comprehensive Occupational Therapy assessment when he was 3&1/2 year old. We learned more things about Arjun only on the day of assessment. He was diagnosed with moderate to mild autism. It is said that autism is a communication disorder which mainly affects the child’s social interaction. We also recollected about Arjun’s play/behavior patterns. For eg: he would...