Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. It is characterized by difficulties in social interaction, communication, and restricted and repetitive interests and behaviors.

The prevalence of ASD is estimated to be around 1 in 54 children in the United States. However, the prevalence of ASD may vary from country to country, depending on factors such as cultural beliefs and practices.

In Cambodia, the prevalence of ASD is estimated to be around 1 in 100 children. However, this number may be an underestimate, as there is limited awareness and understanding of ASD in Cambodia.

Cultural factors that affect autism in Cambodia

There are a number of cultural factors that can affect how autism is understood and managed in Cambodia. These include:

  • The belief in karma: In Cambodia, there is a strong belief in karma, or the idea that one’s actions in this life can affect their future lives. This belief can lead to parents of children with ASD feeling guilty or ashamed, believing that their child’s autism is a punishment for their past actions.
  • The stigma of disability: Disability is often stigmatized in Cambodia, and people with disabilities can face discrimination in all areas of life, including education, employment, and healthcare. This stigma can make it difficult for children with ASD to access the support they need.
  • The lack of awareness and understanding: There is limited awareness and understanding of ASD in Cambodia, even among health professionals. This can lead to misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis, as well as a lack of access to appropriate support services.

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