Observing World Autism Day

2019-04-03 06:01

THE World Autism Awareness Day is observed around the globe on April 2 to raise awareness. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) , autism is a complex nervous system disability which affects normal brain function. WHO said autism usually manifests during the first three years of a person’s life. Autism is described as an impairments of the growth and development of the brain or central nervous system affecting communication, social interaction and behaviour. People with autism have difficulty with communication along with a wide range of social activities and interaction.

National education facilitator at Autism South Africa, Vicky Lamb, told the Gazette that autism is seen as a difference within society and not necessarily as a disorder. “This does not mean that people on the spectrum do not have a disability, they do, however, with support, understanding and acceptance we see autistic people reach their potential,” Lamb said.

As many people around the world have been reported to have signs of autism disability, Autism South Africa said there isn’t confirmed cause of autism.

“We know that genetics play a role as well as environmental factors, and there is a lot of research in this area. All autistic people are different, and so their challenges will be different when interacting with other people. However, some of the more common ones are; not picking up on sarcasm, missing the figurative meaning in language, not giving eye contact. So it might appear as though they are not paying attention. They often are paying attention even without giving eye contact.”

Lamb said there were several early signs of autism. Parents are advised to contact the Autism South Africa should they notice one of the following signs:

> Self-injurious behaviour, e.g. head banging, scratching or biting.

> Unusual habits such as rocking, hand flapping and spinning of objects.

> The development of speech and language may be atypical, absent or delayed.

> Indifference to, or dislike of being touched, held or cuddled.

> Minimal reaction to verbal input and sometimes acts as though he/she is deaf.

> Sense of touch, taste, sight, hearing and/or smell may be heightened or lowered.

> Sudden laughing or crying for no apparent reason.

> Inappropriate attachment to objects.

> Abnormal sleeping patterns.

> Displays extreme distress or tantrums for no apparent reason.

> Prefers to play alone.

> Difficulty in interacting with others and little or no eye contact.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.