What Clearly Is Autism, and Is It Fixable?

by Sesy Widya Pakpahanbullet
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Reviewed by dr. Koh Hau-Tek
What Clearly Is Autism, and Is It Fixable?
What Clearly Is Autism, and Is It Fixable?

Are you familiar with the popular Korean drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo? The life story of Woo Young Woo, an autistic lawyer. Actually, what exactly is autism?

Woo Young Woo is described as South Korea's first autism attorney. This drama has gone viral because of the excellent acting of its actors. Aside from that, the stories of autism are packaged in an interesting and detailed manner.

What exactly is autism?

Autism is not a disease. Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as autism, is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. Anomalies in communication, behavior, and interests. This is a condition that occurs when the brain functions unusually.

According to the WHO, one out of every hundred children has autism. Some autistic people can live independently. Others, on the other hand, require lifelong care and support.

Recognize autism's symptoms

When can autism be diagnosed? This question has no definitive answer. Symptoms are typically recognized in the early years of life.

According to the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5), autism symptoms are classified into two types:

1. Communication and social interaction problems

People with this type of autism typically have difficulty maintaining eye contact and even avoid it when communicating. They also have problems speaking. They do not respond when their name is called, and they have difficulty expressing, sensing, and comprehending the feelings of others.

People with autism typically use small hand signals, such as waving or pointing, to indicate what they want. They struggle to adjust to social situations, such as playing or making new friends. They are more likely to enjoy their own world. Furthermore, they are unable to share their interests with others.

2. Repetitive behavior

Children with autism are prone to stimming, or doing something repeatedly. For example, repeating the same word (echolalia), playing the same way, flapping the hands, or running back and forth.

They are devoted to the routine. They'll be irritated if it changes. Not only is it a matter of time, but minor changes to other things make them uncomfortable. Furthermore, they are extremely sensitive to sound, smell, light, and taste. They have a high interest in particular things.

Additional characteristics

Other symptoms were discovered in addition to the two categories mentioned above. They include delays in language or cognitive development, physical issues such as diarrhea or seizures, excessive stress, hyperactive or impulsive behavior, and unusual eating or sleeping patterns.

Some children with autism may not exhibit all or any of the symptoms listed above. They do, however, exhibit issues related to the two categories.

This is why the condition is known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. The term "spectrum" refers to the severity range. This means that each autistic child is likely to have a unique set of symptoms and conditions.

Recognizing Woo Young Woo’s autism

After being taken to the doctor, Young Woo was diagnosed with autism. Young Woo's father was suspicious because she didn't speak until she was five, avoided eye contact, and didn't respond to anything he said.

Young Woo still exhibits similar behavior as an adult. She frequently repeats words and sentences. She has also been seen wearing headphones in crowds and covering her ears after hearing loud noises on several occasions. That is one type of sound sensitivity.

In terms of routine, Young Woo prefers to eat kimbab every day and refuses to eat other foods. He is also concerned with minor details, such as tidying up strewn-about books or tissues. One more thing: Young Woo is fascinated by whales! She enjoys telling others about whales and how magnificent these creatures are. The whales inspired her in some way.

The cause of autism

The earlier autism is identified, the sooner treatment can begin. However, diagnosing autism is not as simple.

The precise cause of autism is unknown. However, risk factors are classified into two types: environmental and genetic. People with autism may have a family history of the disorder, certain genetic or chromosomal conditions, or a low birth weight. A mother who gives birth after the age of 40 also increases the risk.

Autism cannot be avoided. There is no way to be certain that autism will not occur. Prospective parents can take care of and monitor their own health.

There is a widespread belief that "measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines cause autism." Vaccines, in fact, do not cause autism.

Is autism curable?

Autism has yet to be cured by a drug. As a result, proper treatment will assist children with autism in going about their daily lives. Therapy options include behavior therapy, play therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

Autistic children are not worthless. They have an outstanding memory and pay close attention to detail. Most of them are also gifted in math, science, music, and the arts.

Going back to the story of Woo Young Woo, she truly is an extraordinary attorney! She was able to recall a large number of legal articles. So it's no surprise that she passed the attorney's exam with top grades!

We understand how difficult it is to be the parent of a child with autism. These kids require a lot of parental attention. Consult your doctor and therapist if you are having difficulty organizing appropriate activities for your child.

Joining a community will also be beneficial. Parents can not only share information but also support one another.

Autism is unique to each individual. Some people are like Young Woo, while others are not. The symptoms, however, are the same, namely communication and repetitive behavior.

Let's recognize the symptoms of autism. Let's care for people with autism.

ReferenceCDC. Accessed in 2023. What Is Autism Spectrum? Healthline. Accessed in 2023. Everything You Need to Know About Autism Spectrum Disorder. Mayo Clinic. Accessed in 2023. Autism Spectrum Disorder: Symptoms and Causes. NIH. Accessed in 2023. Autism Spectrum Disorder. WHO. Accessed in 2023. Autism.