World Autism Month 2021

April 6, 2021
What World Autism Month is about?
World Autism Month is celebrated globally every April beginning with World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd. It was established in order to raise awareness about people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The day was advocated by the United Nations to encourage businesses to introduce more inclusive employment programs into their workforce. The main purpose of the day itself is to bring together organizations that support autism and related conditions through research, diagnoses, treatment, and much more. During the month, people share their stories, providing opportunties to increase understanding and acceptance of people with ASD.
How Genetic Testing Can Help
When it comes to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the earlier it’s detected, the better. Genetic testing is the most accurate way to pinpoint the root cause and, along with healthcare professionals, create a personalized plan for the child’s medical treatment and therapy. The reason why genetic testing is critical for those with ASD is that in some cases a specific genetic diagnosis can be given. This, in turn, enables physicians to have access to a comprehensive analysis of the best personalized medical and therapy approach instead of doing a “trial-and-error” approach that takes longer and may not be successful.
Benefits of Genetic Testing
Autism spectrum disorder impacts much more than a child’s development and the way he or she interact with others. Genetic testing can enable you and your child’s healthcare professionals to have a more comprehensive understanding of the following:
  • Recurrence risk - the possibility that any other family member may carry a genetic variant that gives rise to clinical features
  • Co-morbidity - Conditions that on the surface apparently don’t seem related, such as seizures or heart conditions, are often linked to autism spectrum disorder
  • Prognosis - the way in which the condition is anticipated to develop for the child over the course of his or her life
Bionano Genomics and Lineagen
Ben’s parents, Robert and Kristine, were in the dark when they first discovered their three-year-old son, Ben, had developmental delays. For several years they had more questions than answers and were put on a year-and-a-half wait list to get a genetic evaluation. That was too long of a wait so they researched other options and finally got Ben tested through Lineagen where they received long-awaited answers! With the help of a genetic counselor at Lineagen, Robert and Kristine found out that Ben had a deletion on chromosome 22 (known as DiGeorge syndrome). The counselor explained what increased risks are associated with the condition and, most importantly, what could be done to improve his health.
Lineagen is a genetic diagnostic company that was recently acquired by Bionano Genomics, a structural variation detection company. Together, they are bringing genome testing and research into the future by making it cost-effective. If you would like to learn more about Lineagen and testing for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, contact us through our website or give us a call at 801.931.6200.