Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), commonly known as autism is a relevant characteristic that is found abundant in the USA. It is a development disorder quality and is generally diagnosed at a very young age which is within 3 years of the birth of a child. Based on the type or intensity of this feature, the symptoms can be mild or in some cases quite severe in people.
Social communication and social skills are different in autistic people and their language skills are also different from ordinary people. Their social interactions are very orthodox and they have a unique behavioral patterns. Autism leads to sensory challenges like reactions against touch, light, or sound. Special education programs clearly explain what are autistic behaviors and autism courses guide parents and special educators to take care of kids having autism.
CAUSES OF AUTISM:
The perfect reason behind autism is yet to be known but according to doctors and researchers, autism is a hereditary gift that is passed on from one generation to another generation. This is because of a special genetic component, however, there are various cases where a genetic mutation has not been observed. Over here, there are certainly other reasons that invoke autism in children.
- Certain drugs are taken by the birth parent during pregnancy
- Fragile X syndrome and other genetic disorders
- Being born to older parents (particularly when the father is older)
- Low birth weight (particularly when the baby is premature)
Click to know more about levels of autism
HOW MANY WOMEN HAVE AUTISM?
According to a report published by The statesman on 8th April 2022, the Prevalence and incidence statistics of autism in India is 1 in 500 or 0.20% or more than 2,160,000 people. According to a study, an estimated three million people live with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) on the Indian subcontinent. Whereas, in the USA the percentage is 1.47.
It has been observed that in the USA one in every 42 males and one in 189 females are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Women with autism show higher social motivation and have better social interaction skills than autistic boys and men. They are less likely to be hyperactive, impulsive, and have issues with conduct or stereotyped behavioral traits. Autistic women have a tendency to mask their gifts more than autistic men.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) 2020 review of 2016 data (the most recent data available), about 1 in 54 American children are autistic (evidence-based)—and only about 1 in 4 autistic children are female. While the 1-to-4 ratio is still considered accurate, other reports have conveyed that the ratio may actually be closer to 1-to-3.
AUTISM AND WOMEN:
The behavioral pattern of autistic children are somewhat like this:
- Repetitive movements.
- Self-harming like headbanging, biting themselves.
- Continuous repetition of words.
- Obsession with a particular object.
- Sensitive to touch, light, sound, etc., more than others.
- Excessive nagging when it comes to food items.
- Lack of social and language skills.
The signs of autism in women cannot be caught easily because they adopt the camouflage method where they mask their special abilities. The symptoms in women if not diagnosed medically might be somewhat like the following.
- Forcing themselves to make eye contact during conversations
- Preparing jokes or phrases before the beginning of a conversation.
- Mimicking the social behavior of others
- Imitating expressions and gestures
Camouflaging in autistic women is a common phenomenon. Women with autism have a special quality of mimicking their friends and copying their behavioral patterns. Consequently, it becomes difficult for doctors to diagnose ASD in women. So apart from the basic autism traits in women, their ability to mask their special gift is a unique feature. They have a skin-deep emotional sensitivity but they also face difficulties in making friendships with peers.
There are certain add-ons along with autism in women. Those are:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Anorexia nervosa
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Tic disorders
- Sleep disorders
Special education teachers are opting for numerous activities where children with autism are participating to overcome their social and language barriers. Special education programs are online courses that help parents, as well as, teachers (public schools, private schools, etc.) to cater to the needs of girls and boys having autism. Nonetheless, occupational therapy from an autism expert is always recommended.
Written By : Debolina Chakraborty