Healthy Kids: Autism Awareness
What is Autism:
- Repetitive behaviors
- Problems with social interactions
- Communication problems
- Learning difficulties
- Short attention spans
- 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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