Healthy Kids: Autism Awareness

What is Autism:
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Problems with social interactions
  • Communication problems
  • Learning difficulties
  • Short attention spans
  • Aggressive
  • Hyperactivity
  • Boys 5 x > girls
What we know about autism:
  • Prevalence has increased. (1 in 68)
  • Direct screening ? prevalence even higher?
  • Autism can reliably be diagnosed by age 2.
  • Early intervention improves outcome.
  • Behavioral therapy can transform lives.
  • 1/3 children & adults with autism are nonverbal.
  • Assistive communication devices encourages speech.
  • Autism-related GI disorders are real.
  • Sleep disturbance is common and treatable.
  • 1/3 of people with autism have epilepsy.
  • Autism affects the whole body.
  • Genetics are individualized – everyone is different.
  • Environmental factors play a significant role.
  • 1/2 of people with autism wander or bolt.
  • 2/3rds of children with autism are bullied.
  • 84% of adults with autism live with their parents.
  • 1/2 of 25 yr olds have never held a paying job.
  • Lifetime average cost of autism = $1.4 – 2.4 million
Autism:  early death risk a ‘hidden crisis:’
  • Autistic individuals die up to 30 years earlier than controls.
  • Premature death risk is 2.5 x higher for people with autism.
  • Results:  autism = die 18 yrs. earlier
  •               Suicide was leading cause of death
  •                autism + intellectual disability = die 30 yrs. earlier.
  •                Epilepsy is leading cause of death.
  • More support is needed.
Study: Autism intervention studies lack diversity:
  • Criticism: Diversity is never looked at.
  • Treatments vary based on individuals.
  • Is autism distinct from racial influence?
  • More studies are needed.
  • Goal: Best treatment for each person.
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