In Thailand, Autism affects as many as
1 out of every 1,000 children. Out of 5 autistic children, 4 are boys. This
prevalence rate is suspected to be an underestimation of the true numbers due
limited knowledge of the disorder.
Autism is the third most common developmental disability following mental
retardation and cerebral palsy. However, most parents, teachers, and caretakers
of young children are generally unaware of autism. Even some pediatricians
mistake early signs of autism for typical developmental uniqueness.
There is no cure for autism and no effective means to prevent it. Therefore,
early detection is the most important first step in helping children with
autism. With early detection and appropriate early-intervention services, 20%
to 50% of children diagnosed with autism will be able to attend mainstream
classrooms. A significant number from this group can even become
indistinguishable from their typically developing peers.