Autism: Creating Awareness and Support for a Growing Epidemic

Ever know someone who looked and offhand appeared to be completely normal but there was something about them that just wasn’t quite right? Like they seemed out of sync or something, or were just a little more awkward than everyone else? Well, they may have had a condition which we know now as Asperger’s disorder.

Asperger’s disorder is a condition which was first recognized by an Austrian pediatrician back in 1944 when studying and making observations of children. He noted differences in children, mainly inabilities to socialize, troubles in maintaining eye contact, literal thinking patterns, and repetition in their play. He diagnosed them with this condition, coined this phrase, which also became known as high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Today, according to the DSM-V, Asperger’s or those diagnosed with it are now being recognized as having high-functioning autism.

Autism and Asperger’s has been on the rise in recent times. According to the latest statistic, one in about 60 children is being recognized as having some sort of autism spectrum disorder. There are a number of theories as to why it’s growing. Possibly it’s just being acknowledged more so now than in the past. However, in the case of Asperger’s, or high-functioning autism, the challenges are certainly there and hard to pinpoint at times. Perhaps because of the normal appearance and often above average IQ of these individuals, and their scholastic abilities, they are often misunderstood as well as misdiagnosed. Sometimes they are seem as troubled children and are often diagnosed with personality disorders instead of ASD.

To those who have both a knowledge and awareness of this condition, it would be of vital importance to bring this awareness to the attention of teachers of children who fit into this category. It may save that child from psychological harm, allow that child to explore their options and find their niche or special interest, and be able to find a group that they can both connect as well as bond with. Asperger’s is found to be more prevalent in boys than girls, with the rates being 4 to 1 in that department. However, girls who have ASD also have significant struggles, and are subject to being possibly physically as well as psychologically harmed if their condition is not realized soon enough. blog2

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