DPTC Receives Wicomico Proclamation for Autism Awareness Month
April is Autism Awareness Month. The Delmarva Parent Teacher Coalition was honored to receive a proclamation from the Wicomico County Council to be recognized as an advocate for Autism in the community. One thing that we want parents to know is that you have people out in the community that are in your corner. Here on Delmarva, we have many families that have autistic family members. It is important to the DPTC that families and their children receive the necessary supports in Special Education.
What is Autism?
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 36 children in the United States today.
We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.
Several factors may influence the development of autism, and it is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures or sleep disorders, as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression and attention issues.
Signs of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3. Some associated development delays can appear even earlier, and often, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with autism.
In 2023, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 36 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to 2020 data.
Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
Most children were still being diagnosed after age 4, though autism can be reliably diagnosed as early as age 2.
31% of children with ASD have an intellectual disability (intelligence quotient [IQ] <70), 25% are in the borderline range (IQ 71–85), and 44% have IQ scores in the average to above average range (i.e., IQ >85).
Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
Minority groups tend to be diagnosed later and less often.
Early intervention affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the lifespan.
There is no medical detection for autism.
An estimated 25-30 percent of people with autism are nonverbal or minimally verbal (fewer than 30 words or unable to use speech alone to communicate)
31% of children with ASD have an intellectual disability (intelligence quotient [IQ] <70) with significant challenges in daily function, 25% are in the borderline range (IQ 71–85).
Nearly half of those with autism wander or bolt from safety.
Nearly two-thirds of children with autism between the ages of 6 and 15 have been bullied.
Nearly 28 percent of 8-year-olds with ASD have self-injurious behaviors. Head banging, arm biting and skin scratching are among the most common.
Drowning remains a leading cause of death for children with autism and accounts for approximately 90 percent of deaths associated with wandering or bolting by those age 14 and younger.
Fellows & Editors
April 19, 2023 - Copyright DelmarvaPTC.org
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References: CDC, Autismspeaks.org