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What Is Autism Classed As

What Is Autism Classed As

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, behavior, and social interaction. It is a spectrum disorder, which means that it can manifest differently from individual to individual. Some people with autism have exceptional abilities in certain areas, while others may have significant challenges in basic daily activities. The causes of autism are still unknown, but research has revealed that genetics and environmental factors may play a role in its development.

What is Autism Classed As?

In the medical field, autism is classified as a developmental disorder that affects the nervous system. This disorder is characterized by social communication deficits and the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviors. While autism is diagnosed early in childhood, the symptoms can persist throughout an individual's life. In order to be diagnosed with autism, an individual must exhibit these signs in their behavior by age two or three.

Although autism affects people from all backgrounds, it disproportionately affects African American and Hispanic families. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), black children are 20% less likely to receive an autism diagnosis than white children. The reasons are unclear, but it is thought that a lack of access to healthcare, lower income levels, and cultural stigma may contribute to this disparity.

How to Support Your Autistic Child

Black child with autism

Providing support for an autistic child can be challenging, but it is essential for their growth and development. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Encourage them to communicate: Autistic children may have trouble verbalizing their thoughts and feelings. Encourage them to express themselves through alternative methods like writing or drawing.
  • Establish a routine: Autistic children thrive on routines and repetition. Establishing a consistent routine can help them feel more comfortable and secure.
  • Set clear expectations: Be clear in your expectations and give your child clear instructions on what is expected of them. Use positive reinforcement to encourage them when they do well.
  • Access support: Seek out support groups and resources for parents of autistic children. These can provide emotional support, help navigating services, and information on treatment options.

How to Support Autistic Children at School

Autistic child in classroom

Teachers play a critical role in supporting autistic children in the classroom. Here are some strategies teachers can use to support their students:

  • Provide a structured environment: Autistic children thrive with predictability. Establishing a routine and structure in the classroom can help them feel more comfortable and secure.
  • Use visual aids: Autistic children often struggle with verbal instructions. Using visual aids, such as pictures, diagrams, or written instructions, can make it easier for them to understand.
  • Break tasks down into smaller steps: Autistic children can become overwhelmed by complex tasks. Breaking tasks down into smaller steps can make them more manageable and easier to understand.
  • Be patient and understanding: Autistic children may have difficulty regulating their emotions or processing sensory information. Being patient and understanding can help them feel more supported and reduce their stress levels.

Supporting autistic individuals requires patience, understanding, and empathy. By providing the right kind of support, people with autism can thrive and lead fulfilling lives. By increasing awareness and understanding of this condition, we can help reduce the stigma and increase access to resources and support for those who need it most.