OBJECTIVES OF AUTISIM UNIT
•DEFINITION OF AUTISM
•CAUSES OF AUTISM
•SYMPTOMS OF AUTISM
•TREATMENT FOR AUTISIM BY PERSPECTIVES
•WARNING SIGNS OF AUTISM
•CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING THE CAUSE OF AUTISM
•OTHER TYPES OF AUTISM
POSSIBLE TEST QUESTIONS FOR AUTISM UNIT
•DESCRIBE AND EVALUATE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING THE CAUSE OF
•DESCRIBE AND EVALUATE THE CAUSES AND
TREATMENT OF AUTISM WITHIN EACH
•Called Autism Spectrum Disorder
•Group of serious developmental problems that happen before the
age of 3.
•Affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others.
•Affects 1 in 150 US children.
•Three crucial areas-social language, interaction and behavior
•Many children shows these problems in early infancy but some may show
symptoms later in early childhood.
SOCIAL SKILLS(LEARNING PERSPECTIVE)
•Fails to respond to his or her name
•Has poor eye contact
•Appears not to hear you at times
•Resists cuddling and holding
•Appears unaware of others' feelings
•Seems to prefer playing alone — retreats into his or her "own world"
LANGUAGE (COGNITIVE PERSPECTIVE)
•Starts talking later than other children
•Loses previously acquired ability to say words or sentences
•Does not make eye contact when making requests
•Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm — may use a singsong voice or
•Can't start a conversation or keep one going
•May repeat words or phrases verbatim, but doesn't understand how to
BEHAVIOR (LEARNING PERSPECTIVE)
•Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping
•Develops specific routines or rituals
•Becomes disturbed at the slightest change in routines or rituals
•May be fascinated by parts of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car
•May be unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch and yet oblivious to pain
Autism has no single, known cause.
GENETIC ERRORS(Biological Perspective)
“Researchers have discovered a number of genes that appear to be involved in autism. Some
may make a child more susceptible to the disorder; others affect brain development or the way
brain cells communicate. Still others may determine the severity of symptoms. Each genetic
error may account for a small number of cases, but taken together, the influence of genes may
be substantial. Some genetic errors seem to be inherited, whereas others occur
spontaneously.” Mayo Clinic 2008
Researchers are currently exploring whether viral infections and air pollutants, for instance,
play a role in triggering Autism.
OTHER FACTORS(Biological Perspective)
“under investigation include problems during labor and delivery and the role of the immune
system in autism. Some researchers believe that damage to the amygdala — a portion of the
brain that serves as a danger detector — may play a role in autism. “-Mayo Clinic 2008
•Link to early vaccines especially Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
•Vaccines with thimerosal, a preservative that contains a small amount of
mercury. Since 2001, this preservative has been removed.
RISK FACTORS (Biological Perspective)
Your child's sex. Studies show that boys are three to four times more likely to develop autism
than girls are.
Family history. “Families who have one child with autism have an increased risk of having
another child with the disorder. It's also not uncommon for the parents or relatives of an
autistic child to have minor problems with social or communication skills themselves or to
engage in certain autistic behaviors.” Mayo Clinic 2008
Other disorders. “Children with certain medical conditions have a higher than normal risk of
having autism. These conditions include fragile X syndrome, an inherited disorder that causes
intellectual impairment; tuberous sclerosis, a condition in which benign tumors develop in the
brain; the neurological disorder Tourette’s syndrome; and epilepsy, which causes seizures.”
Mayo Clinic 2008
Paternal age. “Research increasingly suggests that having an older father may increase a
child's risk of autism. One large study showed that children born to men 40 years or older
were almost six times more likely to have autism spectrum disorder than were children born to
men younger than 30 years. Maternal age, on the other hand, seems to have little effect on
autism risk.” Mayo Clinic 2008
• Doesn't babble or coo by 12 months
• Doesn't gesture — such as point or wave — by 12 months
• Doesn't say single words by 16 months
• Doesn't say two-word phrases by 24 months
• Loses previously acquired language or social skills at any age
TREATMENT AND DRUGS
BEHAVIOR AND COMMUNICATION THERAPY(Learning Perspective)
• Addresses social, language and behavior difficulties
• Reducing behavior problems and teaching social skills
• Teach them how to act in different social situations and communicate better
EDUCATIONAL THERAPY(LEARNING PERSPECTIVE)
• Autistic children respond to structure environments. Where they have a team of
• Variety activities that improve on social, communication and behavior issues.
• Preschool students work well with individualized structured environments.
• There is no specific medication that treats Autism.
• Anti-depressants may be prescribed for anxiety and some Anti-Psychotic drugs for
CREATIVE THERAPY- Play, Music, Art or Music Therapy.
• Sensory Integration therapy-focuses on reducing a child’s sensitivity to touch and sound.
• Restriction to food allergens such as-yeast, dairy and gluten.
• Adding dietary supplements- such as Omega 3, Folic Acid, B-vitamins.
CHELATION THERAPY (BIOLOGICAL)
• Remove Mercury from the diet.
• But there is no specific research with a connection between Autism and Mercury.
• Developmental disorder that affects children to socialize and communicate with
others. They are socially awkward and are focused with specific topics.
• Engaging in one-sided, long-winded conversations, without noticing if the listener is
listening or trying to change the subject
• Displaying unusual nonverbal communication, such as lack of eye contact, few facial
expressions, or awkward body postures and gestures
• Showing an intense obsession with one or two specific, narrow subjects.
• Appearing not to understand, empathize with, or be sensitive to others' feelings
• Having a hard time "reading" other people or understanding humor
• Speaking in a voice that is monotonous, rigid or unusually fast
• Moving clumsily, with poor coordination Having an odd posture or a rigid gait
• Strong genetic component