Autism is a wide spectrum of disorders where early brain development is disturbed by a genetic mutation. This mutation is caused by several factors including children born of older parents, maternal illness during pregnancy, and being deprived of oxygen during birth.
Autistic children are diagnosed before the age of three in most cases. Signs of autism may include not saying any words by the age of 16 months, not playing with other children, not responsive to their name and not smiling when smiled at. When children diagnosed with autism grow into adulthood, they find it hard to understand facial expressions, they tend to be anti-social, and act repetitively (sometimes spinning in circles to find comfort).
There are more autistic people in the world than you think. One in every 88 children is on the autism spectrum. That means that you have already come in contact with someone that has autism.
I wrote this article hoping to inform Webster Groves High School students and help spread awareness for autism. I feel that there is a lack of conversation when it comes to autism; people don’t talk about it enough. We may know that someone is autistic at school, but we don’t talk about it openly, and I feel as though a lot of teenagers don’t know how to approach the subject in a mature and thoughtful manner. I feel that people without autism need to be more accepting and find more ways to include their autistic peers.
Mr. James Kathriner