Unpacking Autism: A Quick Look At Causes and Prevention

What is Autism? According to Autism South Africa, Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which first displays itself in infancy and early childhood, causing delays in many basic areas of development, such as learning to talk, play, and interact with others. It’s important that we familiarize ourselves with Autism and its signs and symptoms. Here’s more:

What are the symptoms of Autism?

Early symptoms may include a marked delay in language or social development. Only a professional healthcare provider can assess and diagnose Autism.


Autism has no single known cause. Given the complexity of the disorder, and the fact that symptoms and severity vary, there are probably many causes, both genetic and environmental.


Known complications include,

  • Problems in school and with successful learning
  • Employment problems
  • Inability to live independently
  • Social isolation
  • Stress within the family
  • Victimization and being bullied


There’s no way to prevent Autism, but there are treatment options. Early diagnosis and intervention are most helpful and can improve behaviour, skills and language development.

People often suffer in silence and do not seek treatment for their conditions due to misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health issues. Mental health awareness is a critical initiative for increasing understanding of mental health conditions and increasing access to healthcare for those in need.

If you’d like to learn more about Autism and how you can support, visit Autism South Africa or call them on +27 11 484 9909.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).