The Autism Spectrum – A Guide to the World of Autistic Disorders
Home About Us *WISH LIST* Mission & History Mailing List Contact Us The Autism Spectrum – a Search Successes Layman’s Guide to the World of Video Recent Posts Therapies Autistic Disorders Autism: Questions & Answers No Child Left Behind: At Shema Sponsor a Child Posted on March 2, 2011 by skhov Kolainu we live by this philosophy. Forum Visitors around the year at Shema Donate There are many confusing terminologies and terms Kolainu describing the numerous psychological conditions and The Graduation Struggles in Autism Education behaviors which seem to define what have come to be Autism WorkshopsCenter-based Programs known as autism spectrum disorders. An attempt willHome-based Programs be made to clarify some of these terms in a more Recent Comments Training Workshops practical and clear understanding of the autism Archives spectrum. March 2011 Categories Applied Behavior What is Autism? Uncategorized Analysis What is Autism? Meta Autism in the News Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins Log in SKHOV News at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Entries RSS Press Comments RSS Most children with autism usually are perfectly normal Kolainu Magazine WordPress.org in appearance, but spend their free time occupied in confusing and upsetting behaviors which are Books and Articles noticeably different from those of typical children such Links as hand-flapping, repetitive actions, head banging and Schools other injurious behaviors. Conferences Social Media Much of what we know about Autism Spectrum Send Us Feedback Disorders has been discovered in recent years. Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a family of neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by not the usual type of expected patterns in social interaction, communication, and range of interests and activities. While this profile is general for the ASD population, much variation actually exists. No two individuals exhibit the same symptoms of this disorder. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism. Boys outnumber girls four to one. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) Pervasive developmental disorders (PDD refers to a group of five disorders characterized by delays in the development of multiple basic functions including socialization and communication.
Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwisespecified (PDD-NOS), which includes atypical autism,and is the most common; Autism, the best-known;Asperger syndrome;Rett syndrome; and Childhood disintegrative disorder(CDD).The label PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder) ispoorly understood, uninformative, confusing, anddisliked. PDD-NOS is often incorrectly referred to assimply “PDD.” The term PDD refers to the class ofconditions to which autism belongs. PDD is not itself adiagnosis, while PDD-NOS is a diagnosis. To furthercomplicate the issue, PDD-NOS can also be referredto as “atypical personality development,” “atypicalPDD,” or “atypical Autism”.In the Autism Research Review International (ARRI)(1991, Vol. 5, No. 2), a summary of a statement,signed by 16 prominent European and U.S.professionals in the field of autism, titled “Autism is notnecessarily a pervasive developmental disorder.” Theauthors indicated that even though the expressionPDD was introduced more than a decade ago, it isunfamiliar not only to lay people, but to most peoplewho are aware only of term autism. The articleconcludes that the term “pervasive” is mostlyunacceptable. Autism, they indicate, is not a pervasivedisorder but is in fact a distinct one, characterized bydeficits in social and cognitive performance.As a matter of concern, this ambiguous andinappropriate use of the word PDD poses a problem:children and adults with autism adversely tagged withthe PDD label have continuously been excluded fromprograms and services for those with autism, whichwould greatly benefit them.There are many more children with autistic-likedisorders than there are children with autism itself.The real definition should be “children with severedisorders of communication, socialization andbehavior.” The need for an encompassing title for thisgroup was evident even then.Of the various labels that have been recommended,the one that is the most accepted is “autism spectrumdisorder,” which was first recommended by Wing andGould in 1979. This terminology acknowledges thatautism is comprised of a series of disorders that is not
yet known to us.Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)This is the main condition that typically goes by thename of “autism.” Unfortunately, many people use theword autism to refer to both the entire autismspectrum and the specific disorder.Although autistic disorder is a diagnosis, it is a broadone. There are so many differences within thediagnosis that the label itself means little. It is muchmore helpful to describe each child’s distinctivepattern of developmental strengths and weaknesses.Asperger’s SyndromeAsperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder inwhich people have severe difficulties understandinghow to interact socially.People with Asperger’s syndrome have some traits ofautism, very poor social skills and a tendency forsameness and habit.However, unlike those with autism, children withAsperger’s syndrome typically start to talk around 2years of age. They have normal to above-normalintelligence, as regular children do.On average, these children have normal speech, butthey have many “autistic” social and behavioralproblems.Related autism disordersIn the last five to eight years, research has shown thatmany people who engage in autistic behaviors haverelated but distinct disorders. These include:Asperger Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome,Landau-Kleffner Syndrome, Rett Syndrome,and Williams Syndrome. Asperger Syndrome ischaracterized by concrete and literal thinking,obsession with certain topics, excellent memories, andbeing ‘eccentric.’ These individuals are consideredhigh-functioning and are capable of holding a job andof living independently.Fragile X Syndrome is a form of mentalretardation in which the long arm on the Xchromosome is constricted. Roughly 15% of people
with Fragile X Syndrome show evidence of autisticbehaviors. These behaviors consist of: delay inspeech/language, hyperactivity, poor eye contact, andhand-flapping. The majority of these individualsfunction at a mild to moderate level. As they growolder, their unique physical facial features maybecome more prominent (e.g., elongated face andears), and they may develop heart problems.People with Landau-Kleffner Syndrome alsoexhibit many autistic behaviors, such as socialwithdrawal, persistence on sameness, and languageproblems. These individuals are often thought of ashaving ‘regressive’ autism because they appear to benormal until sometime between ages 3 and 7. Theyoften have good language skills in early childhood butgradually lose their ability to talk. They also haveabnormal brain wave patterns which can be diagnosedby analyzing their EEG pattern during an extendedsleep period.Rett Syndrome is a degenerative disorder whichaffects mostly females and usually develops between1/2 to 1 1/2 years of age. Some of their characteristicbehaviors include: loss of speech, repetitive hand-wringing, body rocking, and social withdrawal. Thoseindividuals suffering from this disorder may beseverely to predominantly intellectually challenged.Williams Syndrome is characterized by severalautistic behaviors including: developmental andlanguage delays, sound sensitivity, attention deficits,and social problems. In contrast to many autisticindividuals, those with Williams Syndrome are quitesociable and have heart problems.CausesWhile there is no known distinctive cause of autism,there is increasing proof that autism can be caused bya series of problems. There is some indication of agenetic influence in autism. There is a greaterlikelihood that identical twins will have autism thanfraternal twins. In the case identical twins, there is a100% overlap in genes; whereas in fraternal twins,there is a 50% overlap in genes, the same overlap asin non-twin siblings. Currently, a great deal ofresearch has focused on locating the ‘autism gene;’however, many researchers speculate that three tofive genes will likely be associated with autism. Thereis also evidence that the genetic link to autism may be
a weakened or compromised immune system. Other research has shown that depression and/or dyslexia are quite common in one or both sides of the family when autism is present. 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. Moreover, there is also an increasing fear by parents 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. However, there is no known research that supports this assumption. There is mounting concern that toxins and pollution in the environment can also lead to autism. There is a high prevalence of autism in some parts of California, various areas in Queens and Staten Island, as well as certain parts of New Jersey. Several agencies are now attempting to uncover the reasons for the high percentage of autism in this community, which may be related to environmental conditions. What is the Outlook? Intervention has a direct impact on outcome–typically, the earlier a child is treated, the better the diagnosis will be. In recent years there has been a noticeable increase in the proportion of children who can attend school in a typical classroom and live semi- independently in community settings. However, the majority of individuals with autism remain impaired in their ability to communicate and socialize. Autism cases have risen mostly because doctors now apply a broader definition of the disorder and have better diagnostic tools. Autism remains a mystery and there are still many unanswered questions that remain. Hopefully some of the information contained here offers a better understanding of autism and its many sub categories and provides more meaningful insight into this dreaded disorder.This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged autism donation, autismschools brooklyn, autism workshops, donations for autism, early intervention,early intervention for autism, home based programs for autism, resources forautism, schools for autism in new york, schools for autism ny. Bookmark the permalink.