Published on : 10 September, 2017
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders as defined by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) under the National Institute of Health, USA. ASD includes a wide range, “a spectrum,” of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability. People with ASD often have the characteristics such as, ongoing social problems that include difficulty communicating and interacting with others, repetitive behaviors as well as limited interests or activities, symptoms that typically are recognized in the first two years of life, and symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life. Some people are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled (1).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics indicate that the prevalence of autism is increasing globally, affecting 1 in 160 children. Recent studies in the US and other countries place the rate of occurrence as 1 in 65 children (2). Boys are at higher risk for autism than girls (sex ratio averages 4.3:1). The global prevalence of autism has increased twentyfold to thirtyfold since the earliest epidemiologic studies were conducted in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At that time, prevalence estimates from European studies were one in 2,500 children in the population and by the 2000s prevalence estimates from large surveys were 1%–2% of all children. Although the underlying reasons for the apparent prevalence changes are difficult to study empirically, select studies suggest that much of the recent prevalence increase is likely attributable to extrinsic factors such as improved awareness and recognition and changes in diagnostic practice or service availability (3).
Whether large or small the magnitude of the issue in Bangladesh, people living with ASD constitutes a segment of the population that, as yet, is underserviced and inadequately cared for. Significant issues remain in ensuring the delivery and readiness of both services and personnel involved in caring for people living with ASD.
Objectives of project:
We are now on Phase I of this project.