Evaluation - Autism and Team D
May 12, 2012
Evaluation - Autism and Team C
Although individuals with autism may react with tantrums, the autistic individual is fighting
for his or her preservation of sameness. Autistic spectrum disorder is a range of complex
neurodevelopment disorders (ASD) including autism or classical disorder (ASD), Asperger
syndrome (a milder form), childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive development
disorders (PDD-NOS) (National Institute on Health (NIH), 2012). Sociocultural explanations led
investigators in the wrong direction theorizing “refrigerator parents” (p. 433) triggered and
caused the development of the autistic child (Comer, 2011). Today specific gene mutations are
the focus of autism. Contrary to popular belief, individuals with autism have a gift the rest of the
people judging them can never imagine.
Lack of responsiveness, language, and communication problems, peculiarities in speech,
including echolalia (echoing of another’s phrase), and pronominal reversal and confusion of
pronouns are primary features of autism (National Institute on Health, 2012). Every age group,
ethnic, and socioeconomic groups with various character and severity are at risk. Experts
estimate one out of 80 children (boys four times as likely) from birth through the age of eight
will have ASD (Comer, 2011). Intensive, early treatment is essential and can make a big
difference in the lives of many children. Autistic children must learn social skills in a methodical
and structured way whereas their obsessions may provide certain advantages (Grandin, 2012).
According to Pinel (2009), “Damage has been most commonly observed in the cerebellum
and related parts of the brain but it generally tends to be wide spread throughout the brain”
(Mechado, et al. 2003; Muller et al., 2001 as cited on p. 226). In contrast, Temple Grandin
(Grandin, 2012) believes many autistic symptoms are associated to problems with the frontal
lobes causing either abnormal or scrambled messages from other parts of the brain. Behavior and
procedures are learned by rout thinking in detail to general. Emotions are uncomplicated
stripping the normal barriers developed throughout life (Grandin, 2012). Parts of the brain
directing abstract thought and language become apparent with autism (Grandin, 2012).
Various deficits in face, mouth, and eye control suggest motor neurons of the cranial nerves
during the first four weeks of pregnancy develop incorrectly (Pinel, 2009). Anomalies of external
ear structure suggest an abnormal event experienced by the mother 20-24 days after conception
may trigger autism (Pinel, 2009). A variant of Hoxa 1 located on chromosome 7 is apparent in
40% of autistic persons exhibiting a shortened brain stem, an underdeveloped facial nucleus, and
no superior olive (Rodier, 2000 as cited in Pinel, 2009, p. 227).
Behavioral or functional changes that can occur include impaired social interaction with
sensory differences (fixations or obsessions) noticeable in early infancy. Children lack empathy,
do not respond to their names, and avoid eye contact. The triad of difficulties includes social
problems, behavioral problems, and obssessiveness that hobble some individuals more than
others (Pinel, 2009). Their inability to understand tone of voice or facial expressions leads to a
lack of social clues for appropriate behavior. Fixations by rotating objects or anything that makes
noise create fears leading to panic attacks (Grandin, 2012). Visual and audio clues dominate the
autistic world creating signs of tremendous stress and anxiety.
Autism has no single, known cause. That no two children are alike, given the complexity of
the disease, and the range of autistic disorders, there are likely many causes. Work in
psychological and biological spheres jointly recognize the primary causes of autism are brain
abnormalities and cognitive limitations (Comer, 2009). Parents of autistic children may have to
accept the fact their child may never develop empathy. Concurrently, mind-blindness explains
why the ability to see personality in a story and imaginative play are beyond the autistic child’s
experience (Grandin, 2012). In contrast, the gift is (Comer, 2009) the lack of “theory of mind, an
awareness that other people base their behaviors on their own beliefs, intentions, and on other
mental states, not on information that they have no way of knowing” (Frith, 2000, Happe, 1997,
1995; Leslie, 1997, as cited on p. 435).
Scientists still struggle with the biological abnormalities causing mind-blindness, theory of
mind, lack of empathy, and other symptoms of autism. Viral infections, air pollutants, fragile X
syndrome (inherited disorder causing intellectual problems), tuberous sclerosis (a condition
causing benign tumors in the brain), epilepsy, or Tourette syndrome are medical conditions
increasing risk factors (Mayo Clinic, 2011).
In addition, specific biological abnormalities of the cerebellum and frontal lobes are
predominating in brains of individuals with autism (Pinel, 2009). Locating a final common
pathway, such as neurotransmitters, is the goal of scientists. For example, according to Max
Planck scientists, they “have discovered brain cells in monkeys that may be linked to selfawareness and empathy in humans” (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, 2012, para. 1). An island within
the cortex, damage to the insula leads to apathy (Max, 2012). The connections and physiology of
neurons of the von Economo neuron (VEN) will help to understand the evolution of selfawareness and autism (Max, 2012).
Subsequently, a genetic factor of the relatives (strongest among identical twins),
chromosomal abnormalities, prenatal difficulties, birth complications, and postnatal difficulties
are promising leads in developing a clear biological explanation (Comer, 2009). A strong genetic
predisposition is apparent with autism. According to the NIH, (2012), “In families with one
child with ADS, the risk of having a second child with that disorder is approximately 5 percent,
or one in 20,” (para. 15). You would expect numbers like 25% or 50% when dealing with one
gene. The Autism Genome Project struggles daily trying to locate various missing chunks of
DNA (Grandin, 2012). Subsequently, findings to establish, “de novo germline mutation on the
genomic DNA” shows substantial promise in the ongoing research for the genetic links (Comer,
2009, p. 438).
Toddlers who could not speak and raged for no apparent reason were institutionalized. Today,
scientific studies are discovering the worst thing to do is nothing. Early educational intervention
improves a child’s chance (Grandin, 2012). According to Dr. Grandin, “A young child with
autism should have a minimum of 20 hours per week engaged in one to one teaching,” (para. 7).
Keeping the child’s brain engaged with the world will accomplish more language, better turn
taking skills, and better social interaction skills (Grandin, 2012). Communication training
includes teaching sign language, simultaneous communication, and augmentative
communication systems (Comer, 2009).
Biomedical treatments for young children include such options as a daily multivitamin,
gluten-free diets (most important item to removes is wheat), dairy/casein-free diets (substituting
yogurt), and limiting carbohydrates (Grandin, 2012). Supplements include fish oil Omega 3, B6,
magnesium, tryptophan, and melatonin to sleep. Conventional medication for older children and
adults include Prozac (fluoxetine) for anxiety, clonidine, and proprandol (a beta-blocker). In
addition, antipsychotics include risperdal (risperidone), Seroquel (quetiapine) and Ambilify
(aripiprazole) for severe aggressions (Grandin, 2012).
Until recently, the habit of discounting the talents of autistic people prevailed. Science
classified autism as a form of schizophrenia, blaming mothers as the cause for the disorder
claiming they were cold and aloof toward their autistic child. The first infant/mother responses
cannot grow, causing a complete family identity of confusion. Today there is hope for the
autistic child with early educational interventions. Although scientists continue the battle to
understand the causes of autism, the lack of social connectedness related to autism is a
beginning. In theory, understanding autism comes without the ability for empathy will allow
parent training and community integration to come together with the idea that autism is different
Evaluate Team D PowerPoint Presentation
A visual aid expressing your main ideas is the purpose of the Microsoft PowerPoint program.
Before expressing your main ideas, a solid outline is necessary with much of your time spent on
the speaker notes and contents of the presentation versus the visual aids. Unfortunately, the
amount of information put on each screen was densely crowded causing your audience to read
the screen and not listen to your presentation. Depending on the location of your presentation,
the information will be too small for the audience to read. In addition, when not adding graphics,
bullet points and charts help the presentation organize information visually.
APA formatting is important in your PowerPoint presentation. Grammar, spelling, and proper
recognition of another’s work are always important. The presentation contained numerous
references on the Reference Page, and yet only one slide showed signs of correct citing. In
general, the overall organization of the information presented lacked credibility without proper
citations. Concurrently, an Introduction and Conclusion slide will bring information together
with a beginning and ending to a presentation. In my opinion, the information did not flow.
Comer, R. (2009). Fundamentals of abnormal psychology (5th ed.). New York, NY: Worth.
Grandin, T. (2012). Temple grandin PH.D., different not less. Retrieved from
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (2012, May 21). Rare neurons linked to empathy and self-awareness
discovered in monkey brains. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 21, 2012, from
National Institues of Health (NIH). (2011). Autism fact sheet. Retrieved from
Pinel, J. (2009). Biopsychology (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.