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Autism Disorder

Essay by review  •  December 23, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,007 Words (5 Pages)  •  725 Views

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All autistic children are gifted. Autism is caused by bad parenting skills. People with autism show no emotion. Autistic children cannot learn. The previous statements are examples of common misconceptions of children with autism. These statements are false. When one does not truly understand a condition or disorder, he or she is often tempted to make up that which he or she does not know. These myths are a product of that behavior. Autism is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). Autism is a very serious disorder and effects more than the person affected.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke characterizes Autism as impaired social interaction problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interest. The Council for Exceptional Children goes further and defines Autism as a developmental disability that affects a person's ability to communicate, understand language, play and interact with others. Autism is a behavioral syndrome, which means that its definition is based on patterns of behavior that a person exhibits. Autism is not an illness or disease it is a neurological disability that is present from birth (Council for Exceptional Children).

At this time researchers do not have a definite idea on what actually causes autism. Researchers believe there may be a variety of factors that may cause a person to be autistic but those factors at this time are unknown. Although researchers are not positive of the causes of Autism, they are aware of its common signs. It is important to note, "parents are usually the first to notice symptoms of autism in the child" (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). Parents may notice certain behaviors that characterize autism, in an infant. In infants parents may observe an unresponsive baby. This means that the baby will not focus on a person that is talking to them or the baby may pay attention to one object excluding anything else that is going on around him or her. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke identify other common signs of autism that include but are not limited to: failing to respond to their name and often avoiding eye contact with other people, difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they cannot understand social cues, engaging in repetitive movements or self abusive behavior, speaking later than other children, and children with autism appear to have a higher than normal risk of certain co-existing conditions. "It is also observed that individuals with autism have uneven patterns of skill development. Some people display superior abilities in particular areas, while others areas show significant delay," (Council for Exceptional Children). It is important to note the different degrees of autism. This disorder can go from easily noticed symptoms to those symptoms that are not recognized.

After these common signs have been observed, a consultation with a doctor is needed. Although signs of autism can be noticed as early as infancy, children are not usually diagnosed with the disorder until the age of two or three. All professionals may not diagnose a person with autism. A diagnosis of autism is often provided by a developmental pediatricians, psychologists, child psychiatrists, or neurologists (Council for Exceptional Children). There are many ways doctors go about assessing a possible autistic person. Doctors often use some type of questionnaire which will allow him/her to gather information on the child's developmental behavior. This questionnaire usually relies on the observation of the parent or the doctor. If this screening possesses enough information that is in favor of the child having autism, the doctor must then perform a comprehensive evaluation.

Today there are more children being diagnosed with autism then those that

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