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  1. 1. Autism By: Raewyn Heim
  2. 2. What is Autism? <ul><li>Lifelong disorder that interferes with the ability to understand what is seen, heard, and touched </li></ul><ul><li>Can cause problems in personal and social behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Must learn how to communicate normally and how to relate to people, objects and events </li></ul><ul><li>Full spectrum of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 15) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Facts about Autism <ul><li>Occurs in one or two per 1,000 children </li></ul><ul><li>Found 4x more often in boys </li></ul><ul><li>Occurs in all races and social backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>About 10% of people with autism have an extraordinary ability in one area (mathematics, memory, music, art, etc.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Autistic Savants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 15) </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Signs of Autistic Behavior <ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>language delay or absence </li></ul><ul><li>impaired speech </li></ul><ul><li>meaningless repetition of words or phrases </li></ul><ul><li>using gestures rater than words to communicate </li></ul><ul><li>concrete or literal understanding of words or phrases </li></ul><ul><li>inability to initiate or hold conversations </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 24) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Signs of Autistic Behavior cont'd <ul><li>Social Interaction </li></ul><ul><li>unresponsiveness to people </li></ul><ul><li>lack of attachment to parents or caregivers </li></ul><ul><li>little or no interest in human contact </li></ul><ul><li>failure to establish eye contact </li></ul><ul><li>little interest in making friends </li></ul><ul><li>unresponsiveness to social cues such as smiles or frowns </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 24) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Signs of Autistic Behavior cont'd <ul><li>Play </li></ul><ul><li>little imaginative play </li></ul><ul><li>play characterized by repetition </li></ul><ul><li>no desire for group play </li></ul><ul><li>no pretend games </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 25) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Signs of Autistic Behavior cont'd <ul><li>Other Behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>repetitive motions such as hand flapping and head banging </li></ul><ul><li>rigid or flaccid muscle tone when held </li></ul><ul><li>temper tantrums or screaming fits </li></ul><ul><li>hyperactivity </li></ul><ul><li>fixates or develops obsessive interest in an activity, idea, or person </li></ul><ul><li>overreaction to sensory stimulus such as noise, lights, and texture </li></ul><ul><li>inappropriate laughing or giggling </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 25) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Diagnosis <ul><li>no medical test </li></ul><ul><li>diagnostic test is very difficult </li></ul><ul><li>since primary signs are behavioral it requires evaluation by a specialized team of health professionals </li></ul><ul><li>occurs over a period of time </li></ul><ul><li>other tests may be done to exclude any other medical concerns </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 25) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Causes <ul><li>a brain disorder that affects the way the brain uses or transmits information </li></ul><ul><li>studies have found abnormalities in several parts of the brain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>almost certain these occurred during fetal development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>problems may be centered in parts of the brain responsible for processing language and information from the senses </li></ul><ul><li>appears to be a strong genetic basis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in a family with 1 autistic child , the chance of having another child with autism is 1 in 20 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 15) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Neurobiology <ul><li>neuroimaging technologies have been used to examine brain anatomy in individuals with autism in order to identify structural abnormalities </li></ul><ul><li>increased total-brain, parietal-temporal lobe, and cerebellar hemisphere volumes are the most replicated abnormalities in autism </li></ul><ul><li>research also suggests that the size of the amygdala, hippocampus, and corpus collosum may be abnormal as well </li></ul><ul><li>(Viola 158) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Neurobiology cont'd <ul><li>Research in Australia used fMRI technology have shown that children with autism have less activation in the deep parts of the brain responsible for executive function (attention, reasoning, and problem solving) </li></ul><ul><li>Important implications since prefrontal brain circuits play a critical role in maintaining and focusing attention, planning and setting goals, and keeping goals in memory during problem-solving and decision making </li></ul><ul><li>(Viola 159) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Causes cont'd <ul><li>brain scans and other types of research have identified differences in the shape and structure of the brains </li></ul><ul><ul><li>frontal lobes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>larger overall brain size in autistic children 12 and younger </li></ul><ul><ul><li>parietal smaller than normal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>seems connections are missing or not working correctly when the brain tries to process information between different local systems </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 34-35) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Treatment <ul><li>therapies rely on intense one-on-one interaction and/or a specially structured teaching environment </li></ul><ul><li>Developmental </li></ul><ul><li>DIR/Floortime: parents are trained to act as the primary therapists, often for 20 – 30 minute periods. Parents attempt to engage them in increasingly longer and richer streams of back-and-forth communication and meaningful play. </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship Development Intervention: Uses highly structured games and exercises to teach the child how to tune in to the actions and emotions of other people. </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 52-53) </li></ul><ul><li>Son-Rise: emphasizes accepting the child and interacting with them in an enthusiastic, positive way, for many hours a day, in a specially designed home playroom. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Treatment cont'd <ul><li>Behavioral </li></ul><ul><li>Discrete Trial Training: Typical program for a child might start by teaching the child how to sit in a chair and make eye contact and then proceed to teach language, academic, and social skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Verbal Behavior: Focuses on teaching language by breaking it into small, functional parts that can be taught in a systematic way. </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 53-55) </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication-Handicapped Children: Classroom approach. Focuses on teaching children independent work and life skills, along with communication and social skills, and relies heavily on structured settings, predictable routines, and picture schedules. </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 55) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Treatment cont'd <ul><li>Clinical Therapies </li></ul><ul><li>Speech and Language Therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Occupational Therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Auditory Integration Therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Vision Therapy </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 55-57) </li></ul><ul><li>Biomedical Treatments </li></ul><ul><li>Medications </li></ul><ul><li>Chelation: Compounds taken by mouth, IV, or rubbed on the skin. Can be used to reduce toxic levels of heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, in the child’s body. </li></ul><ul><li>Diet </li></ul><ul><li>Vitamins and Supplements </li></ul><ul><li>Immunological Treatments </li></ul><ul><li>Secretin </li></ul><ul><li>(“Autism” 57-58) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Bibliography * Autism . 1 st . Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. 14-51. Print. * Viola, Stephen. “Brain Anatomy, Electrophysiology and Visual Function/Perception in Children within the Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Optometry & Vision Development 40.3 (2009): 157-163. Web. 11 Aug 2011.
  17. 17. Annotated Bibliography “ Autism” is an informative book that gives some facts about autism, gives symptoms and possible causes and explains ways that autism can be treated or subsided. This book was very helpful in explaining information about autism in a way that isn’t so complicated to understand. This source was pretty helpful for me although it could have gone a little bit more in depth about the brain. “ Brain Anatomy, Electrophysiology and Visual Function/Perception in Children within the Autism Spectrum Disorder” is an explanatory journal that explains the neurobiology of autism. This journal was helpful in explaining more in depth about brain development and function and autism. This was a good source to look into although it was a little harder to understand than what I would have liked.