April 2nd is the World Autism Awareness Day


On April 2nd we mark the World Autism Awareness Day. According to the statistics, autism affects 1 in every 150 children – from all racial, ethnic and social circles. Unofficially, in our country around 140 000 people have autistic disorders. Autism is generally a disorder of the brain. Most doctors define it more as a condition, rather than a disease. Symptoms of autism show within the first three years of childhood. The sooner it is diagnosed and treatment is started, the better the chances are that the child will respond to the therapy.

There are 10 main symptoms of autism – only one might not mean anything, but the accumulation of a few of them is a reason for the child to be examined thoroughly.

1. Avoiding eye-contact – try to attract your child’s sight for a few seconds. Note if it avoids eye-contact as a whole, or if it quickly turns away if you interact with its sight. Autistic children cannot communicate through sight. Some of them never make eye-contact, they notice things with short peripheral vision.

2. Expression – watch your child as it plays around. The autistic has troubles showing his joy, so you may notice if it rarely smiles or gets excited and looks apathetic and uninterested…

3. Personification errors – the autistic child fails to respond when called by name, or when referred to in another way it simply ignores the speaker.


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Non-verbal communication – a child that is not autistic may use non-verbal communication to express its wishes or statements: it nods for „yes“, shakes head for „no“. Autistic children can be uncoordinated in non-verbal communications, they can have problems with nodding /they don’t attempt to substitute the lack of speech with mimics or gestures/ or even with expressing feelings.

5. Voice characteristics – autistic children may use their voices in an unusual way or talk with a different voice from the one they normally use. They might also use the language in a very strange way, by talking about themselves in third person.

6. Repeated motions – an autistic child might perform the same movements over and over: an almost maniacal moving of a toy-car forward and back, turning of objects, tip-toeing, arm-waving, finger-bending, running in circles, spinning around, pulling or tearing of paper, turning the lights on and off.

7. Social skills – the autistic child often encounters difficulties in its social contacts. Since it has no urge to create relationships with other children, it does not bond and does not seek friends. It is unable to understand social signals, such as voice tone or facial expressions. It lacks a feeling of sympathy and can therefore often be cruel towards other kids or isolate them.

8. Routines – changes in routines in the habitat or the daily schedule /even the slightest of changes /, seriously upset the child and make him nervous.

9. Self-inflicted injury – there might be a tendency for self-inflicting injury – hitting or biting itself, repetitive headbanging in the walls.

10. Sensory stimulation – the autistic child might not be able to assess sensory information and have an extremely high pain threshold, but ultra-sensitive towards lights or sounds / airplanes, engines /. Or the contrary case – being super-sensitive and not like to even be touched, embraced or hugged.

The Bulgarian Organization of Voluntary Blood Donation joins the marking of the World Autism Awareness Day. Do not forget that autism is a condition that goes on for life and autistic people have problems with communication and social contacts. We call for you to open your eyes and souls for them and to be tolerant!

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