International Autism Foundation CANADA since 1994  

Service and Support for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder 

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About Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disability demonstrated by an individualís social, communication and behavior difficulties. Individuals within the Autism Spectrum Disorder have varying degrees of unique behaviors from mild to severe. They might also demonstrate exceptional talents in certain areas of knowledge such as Math, Music and others. Children with Autism will benefit from daily behavioral, communication and functional supports. Autism signs vary from each individual. A certain kind of behavior displayed by one as a reaction to his/her environment may not draw the same reaction from another when experiencing the same stimuli.

 

Observable Autism Manifestations

        The child does not make eye contact when spoken to

        The child takes oneís hand to reach for an item he/she wants

        The child avoids cuddling or physical affection by parents or  

           caregivers

        Prefers to play alone

        Appears unresponsive, hard of hearing, ignoring or deaf

        Could not read facial and/or social cues from others

        Responds to the faintest sounds or stimulus but appears not to

           hear the loudest crushing noise

        Does not play with regular toys typical children play with

        Repeats previously heard phrases or sentences or perseverates on

           one topic

        Flaps hands

        Could not readily accept changes in routine or environment

        Speaks for awhile and loses speech or words later on

        Does not feel changes in weather temperature; may expose skin to frost without feeling discomfort or pain

        Makes unusual sounds or vocalizations

        Engages in self-injurious behaviors

        Engages in picking and chewing items from any surface

        Repeatedly insists on eating the same food

        Hyposensitive or hypersensitive to touch, smell, hearing,   

        taste, sight, proprioception

 

People with Autism may or may already have many health issues other than Autism itself. Tuberous sclerosis, diabetes and complications, high blood pressure, high  cholesterol, epilepsy, pneumonia, muscle weakness, arthritis, eye diseases, cancer, sleep disorder, anxiety, depression, gum diseases and obesity rate to be the most prevalent health issues in adults with Autism.

There are no known cause or cure for Autism. Treatments vary according to the needs of the child, the decisions of parents and the resources available within the childís family and community. Early childhood intervention support and services promote positive future outcome for the childís progress. 

Children with Autism mature and grow old in a typical life cycle as many people do. At this time and age of advancement in science and technology, the life span of people are longer than it used to be. With proper health management , treatment and healthy life style and when in the care of compassionate people, a child with Autism reaches old age. But the road to old age is not easy. There are obstacles to hurdle. Health, psychological and social isolation are only a few of what we go through life. 
If we focus only on Autism as a communication, social and behavioral challenge, we might lose sight of the child's health as a whole. In order to take a balanced approach in our care of our children with Autism, we must also pay close attention to the child's overall health conditions. A regular check up by  doctor, provision of nutritious, wholesome meals, exercise and physical activities each week promote a holistic health intervention. Regular flu shots could mean prevention of major illness. Regular drinks of water each day promote proper digestion and detoxifying process of the child's internal organs, hydrates the body, controls calories and energizes the child in a positive, active way. Regular dental visit helps prevent tooth decay and diseases arising from it.