What is Autism? Autism is defined as a developmental disorder with significant life-long effects because it disrupts a child’s ability to socially interact and communicate with others. It typically appears during the first three years of life. It is one of five different types of developmental disorders on the Autism Spectrum.
The many names… The “Autism Disorder” is really one of five different types of developmental disorders. The group of disorders is known as “ the Autistic Spectrum Disorders”(ADS). The children with these disorders progress more slowly in several areas of development, they normally are unable to expand their vocabulary as other children. They also may lose the ability to keep or acquire news skills. ADS can not be cured.
Causes ? There is currently no known cause for this disorder. The three different causes that are currently being researched are genetics, environmental factors and physiologic abnormalities. A common but unproven theory says that eliminating gluten and casein from the diet of these children can reduce the severity of the disorder.
Prevalence The occurrence of Autism has been on the rise since the early 1990s and continues to rise. Many people were beginning to think the sharp increase was some type of epidemic but the results are more likely from being able to better diagnosis children. Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls. It shows no racial, ethnic or social (Autism Ribbon) boundaries, family income, lifestyle and educational levels do not affect the chance either. Autism and its associated behaviors have been estimated to occur in as many and one in 500 individuals. In Autism alone it is 1 in 150 people.
Test & Diagnoses Doctors are able to diagnose Autism when severe challenges happen in 3 areas of language, behavioral and social characteristics. The most common area to look at for delays or deviations is in language. This disorder makes it hard for a person to relate to the outside world and with others. In some cases a person may have high aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior. They also show signs of repeated body movement, hand flapping or rocking, unusual responses to people or attachments to objects and resistance to changes in routines is very distinctive.
Test & Diagnoses cont. After being diagnosed with the disorder they will then be given different genetic testing to look for abnormalities in their chromosomes and metabolic testing. Since Autism does include such a board spectrum of symptoms a team of different specialists will evaluate the child. Many doctors are reluctant in diagnosing the child because of the harsh labeling of the child and depending on how early the concerns are it could even come out to be a wrong diagnose because as stated earlier every being is different and we all grow and learn at different rates.
Signs & Symptoms Just like any typical person every person with autism has a different personality and set of problems that make them unique. A person can be mildly affect and show only slight deviations and delays in communication or social interactions.
Treatments The earlier a treatment is started the better just like in all disorders. Even though this disorder can not be cured the outcome can be greatly improved with most children with Autism with intense therapy. There are many different methods of treating a child with Autism a few of them being ABA or Applied behavior analysis, medications, occupation, physical and speech therapy. The diet of an Autistic person has also been shown that they improve in all areas when they are exposed to a gluten-free or casein-free diet.
Prognoses The prognoses of Autism will continue to improve. It is and always will be a challenging condition for the families of the individual and for the individual themselves. Not too long ago a child with Autism would be sentenced to a life in an asylum. With the correct therapy and support from others a person with Autism can improve their symptoms, though they will be with them for their whole lives. They will however be able to live alone or with their families and be a functioning person in society depending on the severity of the symptoms they present.
Works Cited Work Cited "Autism Fact Sheet." National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 14 May 2010. Web. 26 Nov 2010. <http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm>. "Autism." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, September 2010. Web. 29 Nov 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism. Atchison, Ben J., and Diane K. Dirette. Conditions in Occupational Therapy: Effect on Occupational Performance. 3rd. Baltimore,MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2007. 23-49. Print. United States. National Autism Association. Nixa, MO: , 2010. Web. 29 Nov 2010. <http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/index.php>. Graphics All are from Google.