Autistic Pride Day - June 18
Autistic Pride Day is celebrated on 18th June worldwide to raise awareness among people about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and respect the rights of autistic people so that they are not seen as disadvantaged or diseased but as individuals with a unique set of characteristics. As we all know that people with autism are often subject to human rights violations, discrimination and stigma so this day is marked to stop such discrimination and is symbolized by the rainbow infinity representing “diversity with infinite variations and infinite possibilities”.
What is Autism ?
Autism, also called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological developmental disability that affects the development of the normal brain, hampers communication, social interaction, cognition and behavior. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be a minor problem or a disability that needs full time care in a special facility. Autism is diagnosed four times more often in boys than girls and is the third most common developmental disability.
The symptoms of autism usually begin in early childhood and appear before a child turns three. They persist and interfere with daily living. The core symptoms of autism are social communication challenges and restricted, repetitive behaviours. The common symptoms are the following :
- Lack of eye contact
- Doing something over and over, like repeating words or phrases, rocking back and forth.
- High sensitivity to sounds, touches or sights that are ordinary for others.
- Problem in understanding or using speech, gestures, facial expression or tone of voice.
- Talking in a sing-song, flat or robotic voice.
- Expressing emotions.
- Staring at lights or spinning objects.
- Some children may also have seizures
Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders :
a) Aspergers syndrome – These children have an average or above average range on intelligence tests but, have social problems and a narrow scope of interests.
b) Autistic disorder – This refers to problems in children younger than 3 years with social interactions, communication and play.
c) Childhood disintegrative disorder – These children have typical development for at least two years and lose some or most of their communication and social skills.
d) Pervasive development disorder or atypical autism – This term is used for children with some autistic behavior, like delays in social and communication skills.
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) – This approach is often used in schools and clinics to improve a wide range of skills including :
- Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
- Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
- Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI)
- Verbal Behaviour Intervention (VBI)
Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship – Based Approach (DIR) – This is known as Floortime as it involves getting on the floor with children to play and do activities.
Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children (TEACHH) – This treatment uses picture cards to help children learn everyday skills like getting dressed.
The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) – A visual based treatment using symbols instead of picture cards.
Occupational Therapy – This helps children learn life skills like feeding, dressing, bathing and understanding how to relate to other people.
Sensory Integration Therapy – This therapy helps children deal with sensory information if they get upset by things like bright lights, certain sounds or feeling of being touched.