How to explain the increase in autism spectrum disorders (ASD)?


How to explain the increase in autism spectrum disorders (ASD)?
In both Canada and the United States, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is on the rise; Their incidence almost doubled in the first decade of the new millennium, to the point that their prevalence would now be one to two percent. There has been considerable concern in the press, but it ‘s hard to determine whether the number of cases has increased or only that of diagnoses.

How to explain the increase in autism spectrum disorders (ASD)?
How to explain the increase in autism spectrum disorders (ASD)?

In 2013, three disorders were identified under the acronym TSA: autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and “pervasive developmental disorder unspecified”. It was indeed difficult to differentiate them clearly, the three diseases presenting a range of common symptoms. Their severity varies widely, but in general, ASDs are characterized by deficits in social relationships and communication, as well as restricted and repetitive behaviors.

ASDs are better known today than they were a few decades ago. The parents of a child formerly merely regarded as a little eccentric or uncomfortable in society are undoubtedly nowadays tempted to have it examined. That said, as recognized in a study in 2013 using national epidemiological databases on the study of autism in Canada, ”  the possibility of a real increase in incidence can not be ruled out  ”.

The cause of ASD remains a mystery. Genes have been identified that may affect brain development, and correlation with pregnancy with complications suggests that TSA is due by an intrauterine phenomenon – for example, exposure of the fetus to unusual doses of hormones In the amniotic fluid. In any case, the increase in diagnosed cases requires greater support services. Autism Nova Scotia, for example, has set up practical courses in 2014 to train caregivers to provide respite for principal caregivers of autistic patients. However, it is far from the day when all people with ASD will have access to the help they need.

Early symptoms of autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

ASDs do not have a known cure, and no treatment is effective for all patients, but early intervention seems to produce better results regardless of the nature of the disorder. The following symptoms are not clear indicators, but if you observe them in a child, it would probably be useful to consult a doctor.

A child with ASD tends to:

  • Not reacting to one’s name at 12 months;
  • Do not point the finger at what attracts his attention (a plane in the sky, for example) to 14 months;
  • Ignore imaginative games (feeding a doll, for example) at 18 months;
  • Flee the eyes of others and isolate themselves most of the time;
  • Be late in acquiring spoken language;
  • Repeating words or phrases (echolalia);
  • Be upset by the slightest change in their habits;
  • React strangely to the noises, smells, flavors, appearances and textures of objects.


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