It’s Autism National Consciousness Week.

According to medmd.com, autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Dr. Mark Anthony Talatala, behavioral and developmental pediatrician, said: “there is still no data on the incidence of ASD in Negros Occidental.” However, there are few cases in our Province.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls.

Here are some facts and figures from https://www.autismspeaks.org/autism-facts-and-figures:

Prevalence

• In 2018, the CDC determined that approximately one in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

- 1 in 37 boys

- 1 in 151 girls

• 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 percent of children with ASD may have an intellectual disability.

• 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.

Causes

• Research indicates that genetics are involved in the vast majority of cases.

• Children born to older parents are at a higher risk of having autism.

• Parents who have a child with ASD have a 2 to 18 percent chance of having a second child who is also affected.

Associated medical and mental health conditions

• Autism can affect the whole body.

• Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects an estimated 30 to 61 percent of children with autism.

• More than half of children with autism may experience one or more chronic sleep problems.

• Anxiety disorders affect an estimated 11 to 40 percent of children and teens on the autism spectrum.

• Depression affects an estimated seven percent of children and 26 percent of adults with autism.

• Children with autism are nearly eight times more likely to suffer from one or more chronic gastrointestinal disorders than are other children.

• As many as one-third of people with autism have epilepsy (seizure disorder).

• Studies suggest that schizophrenia affects between 4 and 35 percent of adults with autism. By contrast, schizophrenia affects an estimated 1.1 percent of the general population.

• Autism-associated health problems extend across the life span – from young children to senior citizens. Nearly a third (32 percent) of two to five-year-olds with autism are overweight and 16 percent are obese. By contrast, less than a quarter (23 percent) of two to five-year-olds in the general population are overweight and only 10 percent are medically obese.

• Studies have shown that among identical twins, if one child has autism, the other will be affected about 36 to 95 percent of the time. In non-identical twins, if one child has autism, then the other is affected about 31 percent of the time.

• Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism.

Here in Bacolod, the Autism Society Bacolod Chapter, headed by Wendy Arroyo, celebrated autism consciousness week at SM Bacolod with an awareness walk – “Angel Walk” and program. It was attended by many. If you wish to join this organization and know more about autism, please contact Wendy at 09234051597.