What you should know about Autistic Spectrum Disorder

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Popular disc jockey, DJ Cuppy, took to Instagram on Wednesday to celebrate the birthday of her brother, Fewa Otedola, whom she revealed has severe autism.

Fewa, the only son of Nigerian billionaire, Femi Otedola, shares something in common with Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk.

In May this year, Elon Musk, while speaking on the US comedy sketch series, Saturday Night Live, revealed that he has Asperger’s syndrome ― a condition also on the autism spectrum.

The World Health Organisation defines Autism Spectrum Disorders as a diverse group of conditions characterised by some degree of difficulty with social interaction and communication.

Here are some facts to know about Autism:

  • Autism is referred to as a spectrum disorder because of its wide range of symptoms, which manifest in varying degrees from person to person.
  • Three major symptoms of the disorder include repetitive behaviour (which manifests in continuous rocking or repeating a phrase), impaired social interaction (which can be in the form of avoiding eye contact or talking over others) and verbal/non-verbal communication impairments.
  • Causes of ASD can be traced to environmental or genetic factors.
  • According to US Centre for Disease and Control and Prevention, children born to older parents are at greater risk for having ASD.
  • According to estimates by WHO, an average of one in every 160 children have ASD across the world. This figure is, however, grossly affected by low and middle-income countries where the prevalence of the condition is unknown.
  • While there are no known cures for Autism, the symptoms can be managed by therapy, which will enable people on the spectrum to cope better in social interactions

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