Autism is more pervasive than previously thought, a new study suggests.
Research conducted by University of Cambridge and Newcastle University tested 7 million children, finding that autism is more common than what was found in former tests.
The study also found that socially disadvantaged children are more likely to have the condition.
Peter Baimbridge from Salford autism spoke about his concern for undiagnosed autistic people.
“There’s simply not enough diagnosticians and it is a very difficult diagnosis. You can’t just base it off several direct scientific measurements, there’s a lot of interpretation involved.
“The individual could have another condition that isn’t autism but looks very similar.”
Schizophrenia is a common misdiagnosis for men and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME) is a common misdiagnosis for women.
A greater number of assessments would be a way of successfully diagnosing more autistic people.
“The problem is that most GP’s and mental health workers do not have a realistic understanding of autism.
“Therefore, if you can make eye contact, talk or chew gum they assume you can’t be autistic because you’re too high functioning.”
Salfordautism is always there to help people who are struggling with the condition.
“Autism is a largely genetic condition which is then modified by upbringing and environment.
“In our experience, the more relaxed an autistic person is, the more so-called normal they will appear. Conversely, the more stressed they get the more autistic they will appear.
“Instead of trying to fix the individual, who doesn’t actually need fixing, we try to fix the environmental conditions that are effecting them.”
Salfordautism will help every individual differently. There is a range of methods used, from talking to the person about how to deal with a situation, to getting involved and sorting it out for them.
“Everybody who works here has been diagnosed themselves, so we’ve all been through this.
“If we can show somebody how something is done, then that will develop the individual’s belief that it’s possible, therefore it will make them more inclined to learn how to do it next time.”
Most of the autistic community refuse to think of the condition as a disorder. Neurodiversity is the idea that humans all have different brains, with their own characteristics.
“There are plenty of people that have been diagnosed as autistic who’ve been successful in many areas.”
Preconceptions of autistic people can be unhelpful because every person who is diagnosed is affected variously.
“Most common is the assumption that autistic people don’t make eye contact, another common one is that it is a learning disability which it most certainly is not.
“I am diagnosed as autistic; I have a measured IQ of 150 and I’ve had a career in business.”
Another trouble for undiagnosed autistic people is the long wait for medical attention.
“The problem is diagnosis takes so long for most people. Salford is one of the few areas where the delay from referral to diagnosis is about two months. Most places in the rest of the country it’s over two years.”
Research into autism has only broadened understanding of the condition.
If it can be diagnosed and treated correctly, there is a better chance autistic people can be more comfortable with their surroundings.