Autistic Pride Day 2020: Important date, History, Causes and Facts about Autism

Autistic Pride Day 2020: Autistic Pride Day is observed on June 18 every year to represent the uniqueness of autistic people and the role to educate the public about autism. Get the information about Autistic Pride Day, autism, history, causes, and facts of autism.

Updated: Jun 09, 2020 18:10 IST

Autistic Pride Day 2020: Important date, History, Causes and Facts about Autism

Suganya Vedham

Autistic Pride Day 2020

Every year, Autistic Pride Day is celebrated on June 18 as pride for autistic people. It is observed to create positive changes among the people about autism. Autism is not an illness or disease rather it is a unique set of characteristics. On this special day, activists put their efforts to accept and realize that autism is different from disability. 

What is the history of Autistic Pride Day?

Autistic Pride Day was first celebrated by Aspies for Freedom (AFF) in 2005. Then it became a global event and celebrated worldwide. The day is that it is an autistic community event and is led by autistic people. AFF initiated the observation of the day with an aim to raise awareness about the autism rights movement. This day is represented by a rainbow infinity symbol which represents the diversity with infinite variations and infinite possibilities.

What is autism?

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social interaction, communication, and behavioral challenges. It is also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) because it refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity. People with autism are characterized as a restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped pattern of behavior. Some people with ASD need a lot of help with their work while others need less. Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports (2014), there is 1 in 68 children have autism, around the world.

What are the causes of autism?

Doctors don’t know the causes of autism spectrum disorder. Researchers and doctors suggest that autism develops from genetic factors, neurobiological factors, and environmental factors. These risk factors involve the high risk of developing autism in children. Some of the other risk factors are genetic mutations, low birth weight, exposure to heavy metals and environmental toxins, metabolic imbalances, etc.

What are the symptoms of autism?

Autism symptoms are clearly noted in the early stage of childhood between the age of 12 to 24 months. The most common noticeable symptoms are problems in communication and social interaction, delay in language, focus on one item, and repetitive patterns of behaviour. Other symptoms and signs are

  • Abnormal body posturing or facial expressions

  • Abnormal tone of voice

  • Avoiding eye contact

  • Behavioral disturbances

  • Deficits in language comprehension

  • Lack of understanding social cues

  • Lack of empathy

  • Learning difficulty

  • Self-abusive behaviors

  • Sleep disturbances

  • Problems with a two-way conversation

  • Repetitive motions, or speech patterns

  • Not engaging in play with other children

What is the diagnosis of autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder involves various screening, genetic and evaluation tests. Developmental screening helps in the early identification of autism in children. Children of age between 12 to 24 months will undergo this type of screening at regular child visits. In addition to that doctors recommend all the children to undergo developmental and behavioral screening at every visit. This screening is not only a complete diagnosis because children at high risk of  Autism Spectrum Disorder require additional screening tests. Some of the other screening and tests are as follows:

  • DNA testing for genetic diseases

  • Behavioral evaluation

  • Visual and audio test to check the hearing and vision issues

  • Occupational therapy screening

  • Developmental questionnaires

What are the treatments for autism?

There is no standard treatment to cure autism but there are different therapies available to minimize the symptoms and improve the abilities. These therapies and interventions differ from person to person based on their symptoms and behaviours. Some of the therapies in treating autism are listed below:

  • Behavioral management therapy 

  • Cognitive behavior therapy 

  • Early intervention 

  • Educational and school-based therapies 

  • Joint attention therapy 

  • Medication treatment 

  • Nutritional therapy 

  • Occupational therapy

  • Parent-mediated therapy 

  • Physical therapy

  • Social skills training 

  • Speech-language therapy

Autism - Key Facts

  • Autism is the third common developmental disorder

  • Autism occurs in the first 3 years of life

  • Boys diagnosed autism is five times more when compared to the girl

  • The term autism is derived from Greek, auto means self where autism means alone.

  • About 40% of children affected autism who do not speak

  • From the last 20 years, the rate of autism is increasing steadily

Inspiring quotes for Autism

Autism can’t define me. I define autism - Kerry Magro

It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village.” – Coach Elaine Hall 

I am different, not less.” -Temple Grandin

“If they can’t learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn.” – O. Ivar Lovaas

“Autism … offers a chance for us to glimpse an awe-filled vision of the world that might otherwise pass us by.”- Dr. Colin Zimbleman

Autistic Pride Day - FAQ

1. Do autistic kids ask a lot of questions?

Usually, children may ask a lot of questions about their surroundings, people, things. But children with autism use language to make requests or to oppose rather than asking questions.

2. Who is at high risk for autism?

Children who have siblings with autism may have a high risk of autism. Individuals with certain genetic factors may have a greater chance of autism.

3. Does autism worsen with age?

Mostly the adults with autism will have fewer symptoms when they get older. This is not for all, some people with mental retardation may get worse. It differs from individuals to individuals.

4. How early can autism be detected?

Autism is hard to diagnose before 24 months but there some signs show up between 12 to 18 months. If the symptoms are detected, intensive treatments may help to reverse the symptoms.

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