Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that is characterized by two types of behaviors: communication and social skill deficits, and restricted or repetitive behaviors.
Recent years have seen a change in the way psychiatric professionals view autism. Children with autism-related behaviors were originally diagnosed with one of a variety of developmental disorders—including autism, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD), and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). ASD is now viewed as one diagnosis characterized by a range of symptoms and behaviors of varying severity. ASD consists of all these earlier diagnoses.
Common misconceptions about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism is rare.
ASD is referred to as a “spectrum disorder” because an individual’s strengths and challenges can fall anywhere along a spectrum. Individuals can require a lot or little to no external support.
Autism doesn’t require treatment.
While ASD is not a visible disability, it does not mean it may not require treatment or support. The average lifetime health cost for someone with ASD can reach up to $3 million. With the proper support and time, children with autism can develop the skills to be more independent and can lead healthy, productive lives.
Vaccines cause autism
This is a myth. There is no scientific evidence that Autism is caused by vaccinations.
ASD is a more severe form of Asperger’s.
Recently, all autism-related disorders that fall within this category have been combined into one disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASD is referred to as a “spectrum” disorder because an individual’s strengths and challenges can fall anywhere along a spectrum.
ASD is a complex life-long disorder that impacts not only the person with ASD but their families, caregivers, and communities.
Support ASD services through #TheInfinityChallenge
The SAAAC Autism Centre builds inclusive communities through culturally responsive autism practices and accessible programming. SAAAC’s 6th Annual Walk-a-thon is an interactive virtual fundraising campaign focused on promoting health and wellness. This year I am proud to be taking part. I will be running a 4 km route every week in the infinity symbol shape (the universal symbol for autism). I will map out my route using an app and share them with you so that you too can take #TheInfinityChallenge with me. Let’s spread awareness and acceptance of ASD together.