WHAT IS AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER?
By Trisha Kapoor

Autism or Autism Spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others. Its most characteristic symptoms include unusual speech patterns, avoiding eye contact, having difficulty maintaining conversation, difficulty in expressing, and other social skills. This leads the child into isolation from peers since they cannot easily fit in.
However, symptoms differ drastically for every individual. This is why it is called Autism Spectrum Disorder since the symptoms differ widely from person to person and fall under a wide spectrum.
Even though Autism halts the learning capability even for a child who has above average intelligence, regular therapies like Special education, Speech therapy, occupational therapy at the right time can help the development of an autistic child drastically. Since these help them become fit in socializing, they can now attend schools and also be mainstreamed in society, which helps improve their lifestyle more.
Risk factors for ASD include sex of the child (as boys are 4 times more likely to develop ASD than girls), family history of ASD, other disorders (for eg. Rett syndrome, Fragile X syndrome), extremely preterm babies (born before 26 weeks of gestation) and parents who are older at the time of conceiving the child.
Genes and environments both are responsible for causing Autism in an individual. Till now, no cure has been found out to treat Autism, but therapies, as discussed before, can work miraculously.  
Always remember, children with autism are colorful they are often very beautiful, and just like a rainbow, they need a little nurturing of rainwater and sunshine to shine at their brightest potential. Autistic kids who could not speak anything, were extremely hyperactive, could not do any daily life activities, recognize anyone, have shown astonishing growth and improvement in a matter of years with proper therapies. Kids with autism are like any other children with no developmental disability, they seek love and support. As they struggle to communicate their needs, express their feelings, it is so important to give them the right resources so that they can communicate with ease, and become independent in leading a comfortable life. All children especially autistic children are God’s seedlings waiting to bloom – let us give them the love, support, resources they need to do so.

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