Model becomes inspiration to autistic community
Autism or ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms usually become apparent before a child reaches three years old. Autism often affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize.
There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other everyone else. People with autism may communicate, interact, behave and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking and problem-solving abilities of people with autism can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may need a lot of help in their daily lives, while others need less assistance.
Parents usually notice the signs of autism occurring during the first two years of their child’s life. The signs may develop gradually over a period of time, but some autistic children first develop more normally and then regress. Early behavioral, cognitive, or speech interventions can help autistic children gain self-care, social, and communication skills. Early behavioral, cognitive, or speech interventions can help autistic children gain self-care, social, and communication skills.
Although there is no known cure for autism, there have been reported cases of children who have recovered. Not many children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, though some have become successful. Signs of ASD begin during early childhood and can last throughout a person’s life.
People with autism often have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all. These people will also have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings. It often is difficult for someone with autism to look and have eye contact with someone.
Diagnosing someone with autism can also be difficult. To diagnose possible disorders, doctors look at the child’s recent behavior and development to make a diagnosis. ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age two, a diagnosis by a doctor is often very reliable. Some children do not receive a final diagnosis until much later in life.
One special person who has managed to overcome her autism and succeed is Alexis Wineman. She was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder and borderline Asperger’s syndrome at the age of 11. She later won the Miss Montana pageant in 2012. In 2013, she represented her state in the Miss America pageant. She was the youngest contestant in the 2013 Miss America pageant. She won the “America’s Choice” award at the pageant.
“The Miss America pageant was my own personal Everest,” Wineman said.
Autism is affecting more and more people. Autism now affects one in every 68 children and one in every 42 boys. Autism is also the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. Also, males are about five times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than females.
There are several different reasons why a person develops autism. Genes are one of the major risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop ASD. Children who have a sibling with ASD are at a higher risk of also having ASD. The prescription drugs Valproic Acid and Thalidomide have been linked to a higher risk of ASD in children when they are taken during pregnancy. Children born to older parents are at higher risk for developing autism in the future.
Autism can be very costly for families. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics this week found the average lifetime cost of supporting an individual with an autism spectrum disorder is around $2.4 million. A newly released Harvard study has found that caring for an individual with autism can cost more than $3 million in their lifetime. The total bill to U.S. society could reach up to $35 billion a year.