Abril Azul: awareness campaign on autism

Our brain can be compared to a personal computer. In this way, each person has their own tastes, learnings and skills.

In addition, he is responsible for the way we feel and how we communicate.

In some cases, the brain responds in a “different” way, changing the way we perceive and interpret certain situations.

This change can be understood as autism .

According to the United Nations (UN), autism, or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), affects about 70 million people worldwide.

In Brazil, there are about 2 million people with the spectrum.

Read more: Children with autism are more likely to have sleep disorders


What is Abril Azul?

In order to expand knowledge about autism, the Abril Azul campaign was proposed in 2007. It aims to combat prejudice and even increase the engagement of authorities with the cause.

Thus, during the month of April it is common to find more news and information related to the subject. In addition, events and initiatives focused on TEA are frequent at this time throughout Brazil.

Read more: Music improves communication for children with autism

World Autism Day

The UN instituted April 2 as World Autism Day, a date that aims to alert society about the condition, as well as demystify it. For this reason, the campaign that seeks to raise awareness about TEA takes place in the same month.

What is Autism?

Autism can be understood as a combination of conditions, such as delay and abnormalities in the development of social behavior, in addition to communication and language difficulties.

People with autism often have an incredible ability to perform tasks that for most would be complex.

The opposite also applies. Questions that to most people may seem simple, to people with autism can sometimes become incredibly difficult, such as making friends and relating.

Autism has no definite causes, that is, studies about its origins have not yet been fully clarified.

There are researchers who link the condition with some type of genetic predisposition . Others claim that the condition develops due to infections during pregnancy.

In addition, there is still the possibility of being caused by external factors, such as pollution and stress .

The condition has an early onset and can be noticed before 18 months of age and usually extends into adulthood.

Early diagnosis is essential to ensure a better quality of life for the patient and to reduce the impacts on social and economic life.

Know the signs and symptoms

Among the symptoms presented by people with autism, the most common include repetitive behaviors, exaggerated restlessness and resistance to change. Understand some of the signs:

Little interaction

Little social interaction is the basis of the entire spectrum of autism, and is often the first symptom to be identified.

Autistic people are considered more isolated, who do not like social situations or talking a lot. In addition, one can perceive a preference for individual games.

Another issue involves the difficulty that autistic people have to perceive some subtle signs of social conversations.

Read more: Children with autism interpret facial expressions of their mothers

Language disorders

Many autistic children use a picture exchange system to communicate, because they have difficulty with oral language.

Children who speak, on the other hand, can present very characteristic ways of language, such as repetitions of lines of drawings and films, in addition to robotized speech without intonations.

Repetitive and stereotyped patterns

People with autism find it difficult to change their routine or make it more flexible. For them, the ideal is that they are the same times, the same games, the same foods (food restriction) etc.

As a consequence, people with autism develop specific and above average skills and knowledge.

Other signs

Some more subtle signs can also serve as a warning to parents, such as when the child:

  • Does not answer by name until the first year;
  • Avoids eye contact;
  • Uses little or no gesture;
  • Align toys and other objects frequently;
  • He doesn’t understand jokes or sarcasm;
  • He has difficulty understanding feelings.

Degrees of autism and its effects on the body

The diagnosis of autism is clinical, through observations of behavior.

The condition can be classified into three levels of functioning, according to DSM-5 (5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

Level 1 (light)

The closer the person is to autonomy, the closer to the light classification he will be. An important factor in determining the mild degree is your ability to develop speech and language.

However, it is important to point out that people classified as mild autistic have great rigidity and control in relation to routines, food selectivity and, usually, when things happen outside of expectations, crises can happen.

Level 2 (moderate)

At this stage, it is possible to perceive a greater impairment in communication skills, with some level of limitation in social interactions. Certain difficulties are more easily perceived by other people.

Level 3 (severe)

The more help that is needed for the person with autism, the closer they are to the severe level.

Thus, people diagnosed with a severe degree have great difficulties in communication, understanding, expression, in addition to feeling great discomfort in changing the behavioral repertoire, both in activities and in their own routine.

Growing up with necessary support, the autistic child can find activities that interest him, in addition to being able to develop his autonomy to the maximum according to his individual characteristics.

Follow-up with a neurologist or child psychiatrist is essential for this development to happen.

So, if you know someone who has autism or who has known them with this condition, share this text, showing your support and consideration for the cause!