Center for child development

Why is the number of autistic kids are increasing

Reasons for increasing number of autistic kids

Kids are unpredictable and different, sometimes unruly and sometimes totally obedient. And most of the times, they don’t fall into any kind of boundaries; maybe this is one of the reasonswhy they are totally adorable. But what if they do something that they shouldn’t, like behaving in a certain weird way or showing that they don’t belong here.

Your obvious reaction would be taking them to a doctor. Well, problem starts from here. Indians earlier neglected existence of autism, considering it to be some kind of foreign disease. In the 80s and 90s, most of the kids suffering from autism, when taken to doctor were diagnosed as mentally ill or suffering from schizophrenia.

Autistic kids have problems in verbal and nonverbal communication, repetitive behaviour, and social interactions and in many cases, problems pertaining to brain development. Well, stated that, it was too obvious for the Indian doctors to perceive that these kids weren’t a victim of some alien disorder of foreign land, but were mentally ill.

As the researchers say, it is easier to find out the cause for Cancer because one can carry out the biopsy on the tumorous cell and the behaviour. But in case of autism no definitive measures or cause-digging procedure could be followed. Still, there has been recent observations in the last few years which can bring us one step closer to find the cause and cure.

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Awareness, a tactic thing, which can jolt the entire mankind into a state of terrible truth.

As per the survey carried out in early 2000s, there was a prevalent number of 1 autistic kid out of every 500 kids. Now, as per the most recent research that has been carried out in India, there are 10 million children who suffer from autism, making it, 1 out of every 66 kids, suffering from autism. So, one of the explanation of why the number of autistic kids are increasing, is the correct diagnosis of the kids with the prevalent ailment. Dr. N.K. Arora, a paediatrician who has previously worked at AIIMS and is right now the executive director of INCLEN, i.e., International Clinical Epidemiology Network Trust, said that they found about 1 to 1.5 percent of autistic kids between the ages of 2 to 9. You can just guess by the number shared before, that how many people would have spent a major part of their life without being correctly diagnosed.

The fragile genes that are passed in generations.

Also, another prevalent reason why the number of autistic kids are increasing is because of ‘population’. And no, we aren’t putting forth the talk of how everything is imbalanced because of global warming, pollution and population. It’s logically derived. The autism is passed from one generation to another through X-chromosomes, i.e. X chromosomes are the fragile genes which acts as a carrier for autism. And as the population increases with the power of 2, every generation, a simple situation can be derived where it could be stated that autism is transferred from one generation to another and due to population increase in powers of two, more cases can be seen. Although, only 5% of the reported cases of autism has been reported to arise from it.

The genetic mutations come off with an increased risk with age.

Also, in the recent times, couple have a tendency of planning childbirth to the later stages of their marriage. The reason is simple, they want to focus on their career. But, the delayed childbearing and the situation where both the father and mother belong to older ages, has been considered to be linked with higher rate of autism.

Environmental factors that might trigger autism.

The mothers who consumed food and fruits that were affected with pesticides have higher probability of having kids with autism. There are many kinds of organic pollutants, PCBs (few of them being neurotoxins), fluorescent lighting, etc. that are said to affect the genes and act as a trigger.

The increased number of autistic kids, no matter due to awareness or increased environmental factors, has been brought into notice and government and NGOs are taking necessary actions to develop a safe and sound environment for these kids. People are accepting the change more and may be this awareness is not at all bad, because a dark room has no ray of hope, but a bright room even along with troubles gives us a path to fight.

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Abigail Jacob
After completion of the first year in the EMOT program..
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