World Autism Awareness Day
April 2nd is internationally recognised as the World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD). The theme for this year’s WAAD is “Assistive Technologies, Active Participation”. During this month, autism-friendly events and educational activities will be held to educate the public on the challenges that autistic individuals (and the people around them) face every day.
What is autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of complex neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by a deficit in social behaviours and communication.The common signs of ASD include reduced eye contact, facial expression and body gestures, overly focused on certain objects, engagement in repetitive movements or unusual behaviours (for example arms flapping or rocking from side to side), and awkward speech delivery. Genetic studies have proven that ASD is caused by defects or mutations in genes that control brain development and it is more common in children born prematurely.
Myths and facts: What you need to know about autism
We have put together a list of myths related to autism to help clear any misconception about the disorder.
Myth #1: Autism is rare in Malaysia
Fact: The prevalence of autism is on the rise in Malaysia. Ministry of Health reported that one out of 625 children in Malaysia has autism.
Myth #2: All people with autism require constant care
Fact: ASD is a ‘spectrum condition’, therefore it affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. On one extreme, there are ‘high functioning’ individuals who are able to care for themselves, hold jobs and build friendships. On the other extreme, ‘low functioning’ individuals need constant 24/7 monitoring and require help in their daily lives. Healthcare professionals have agreed that treatment for ASD should be individualised depending on the individual’s autism spectrum.
Myth #3: People with autism don’t want friends
Fact: Socialising or making new friends could take a great deal of time and effort for autistic individuals. Although they may appear shy or unfriendly, that is only because of their limited social skills, making it difficult for them to communicate in the same way that normal people do. Developing friendship with peers or work colleagues is a healthy way to prevent autistic individuals from getting bullied or to avoid miscommunication.
Myth #4: Autism only affects children
Fact: The symptoms of ASD are present from early childhood (as early as 3 years old). Children with autism transition into adults with autism.
Myth #5: Autism is just a brain disorder
Fact: Some genetic disorders are associated with autism such as Fragile X syndrome (which causes intellectual disability) and tuberous sclerosis (benign tumours in the brain or other vital organs). Furthermore, autistics individuals also have co-occurring conditions such as epilepsy or seizure, gastrointestinal disorders,food sensitivities,allergiesand disturbed sleep.
Famous people with autism
Every autistic individual is unique. For every down side of autism, there are certain positive traits that are worth to be celebrated. These positive traits include having a terrific memory, and a highly focused, passionate, non-judgemental and less materialistic personality. With these attributes, many individuals with ASD have achieved great success in their respective fields. Here is a list of famous and inspiring autistic people in history:
Like what you read?
Let us know what you think.
Contact us for any comments and enquiries:
T: +603 7832 0188
Mediconnexions Consulting Sdn. Bhd. offers a wide range of integrated marketing and communications services related to the medical, pharmaceutical and nutritional sciences.
Visit our website at www.mediconnexionsconsulting.com