What is Autism Essay?
Autism affects more than 400,000 Americans, between 10 and 20 of ever 10,000 people in the United States (Mayo). Autism is a developmental disability of the brain, much like dyslexia or attention deficit disorder. Autism is not a form of mental retardation, and though many autistic people act like they are retarded, but a lot of times they are very intelligent. People need to be aware of what is, what causes it, who it is diagnosed, what people with autism are like, is there more than one type of autism, and what are the most effective approaches.Order now
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life (Yahoo).
The result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, autism and its associated behaviors have been estimated to occur in as many as 1 in 500 individuals. Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries (Edelson). Family income, lifestyle, and educational levels do not affect the chance of autisms occurrence (Yahoo).
Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills (Yahoo). Children and adults with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. The disorder makes it hard for them to communicate with others and relate to the outside world.
In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior may be present. Persons with autism may exhibit repeated body movements (hand flapping, rocking), unusual responses to people or attachments to objects and resistance to changes in routines. Individuals may also experience sensitivities in the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste (Yahoo).
Over one half million people in the U.S. today have autism or some form of pervasive developmental disorder (Edelson).
Its prevalence rate makes autism one of the most common developmental disabilities. Yet most of the public, including many professionals in the medical, educational, and vocational fields, are still unaware of how autism affects people and how they can effectively work with individuals with autism.
Researchers from all over the world are devoting considerable time and energy into finding the answer to this critical question. Medical researchers are exploring different explanations for the various forms of autism. Although a single specific cause of autism is not known, current research links autism to biological or neurological differences in the brain. In many families there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities which suggests there is a genetic basis to the disorderalthough at this time no gene has been directly linked to autism (Yahoo).
The genetic basis is believed by researchers to be highly complex, probably involving several genes in combination.
Several outdated theories about the cause of autism have been proven to be false. Autism is not a mental illness. Children with autism are not unruly kids who choose not to behave. Bad parenting does not cause autism. Furthermore, no known psychological factors in the development of the child have been shown to cause autism (Yahoo).
There is also evidence that a virus can cause autism. There is an increased risk in having an autistic child after exposure to rubella during the first trimester of the pregnancy. Additionally, there is also a growing concern that viruses associated with vaccinations, such as the measles component of the MMR vaccine and the pertussis component of the DPT shot may cause autism. There is also growing concern that toxins and pollution in the environment can also lead to autism (Edelson).
There are no medical tests for diagnosing autism. An accurate diagnosis must be based on observation of the individual’s communication, behavior, and developmental levels (Mesibov 26).
However, because many of the behaviors associated with autism are shared by other disorders, various medical tests may be ordered to rule out or identify other possible causes of the symptoms being exhibited.
Since the characteristics of the disorder vary so much, ideally a child should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team which may include a neurologist, psychologist, developmental pediatrician, speech/language therapist, learning consultant, or another professional knowledgeable about autism (Mayo). Diagnosis is difficult for a practitioner with limited training or exposure to autism. Sometimes, well-meaning professionals .