Understanding Autism

Autism is a disorder that affects one in every one-hundred children born today. Children who lack social, communicative and behavioral skills are likely to be placed on the Autism Spectrum. This scale defines various forms of autism from Asperger’s Syndrome to the “standard” autism that is explored in the following passages. Regardless of the disorder’s severity in a particular case, autism is a serious disability and should be treated as early as possible. Consult the following paragraphs to discover more about the symptoms of autism, the hypothesized causes of the disorder as well as some information about treatment. There are also links to some other helpful websites for your convenience.

Symptoms of Autism

There are different levels of autism, and each person diagnosed experiences different symptoms. Some cannot develop fluency with verbal language. Many autistic people have heightened senses. They may hold their hands over their ears as if pained by normal noises. They also have obsessive-compulsive tendencies and will find ritual activities – such as waving a ribbon – soothing. They may also be incredibly passive or extremely hyperactive. Parents of young children with autism will notice a delay in their child’s ability to pursue social relationships, effectively communicate and develop specified interests. For example, games that many babies like to play with their parents such as peek-a-boo will not result in the expected smiles and giggling. They also may regress to using single words after developing use of complete sentences. Although these symptoms are noticeable as early as eighteen months into a child’s life, a successful diagnosis generally cannot be performed until they are around two years. The earlier autism is diagnosed, the sooner a child can begin treatment.

Causes of Autism

Even in today’s technological world, autism baffles scientists. It is unknown why some children develop the behavioral disorder and many causes have been explored including vaccines, genetics, and bacteria. It has been proven that about 10% of autistic people developed the disorder as a result of German measles, Tuberous sclerosis, Fragile X syndrome, brain inflammation, or phenylketonuria. They have also determined it affects about 1% of children and that males are four times as likely to be autistic than females.

Treatments for Autism

There is no cure for autism. However, most children can make progress. As autism affects social, behavioral and communicative skills, it actually doesn’t hinder the IQ in any way. There are nonverbal IQ tests that can help therapists determine the best ways of helping a particular autistic child advance. Unfortunately, the most effective programs would cost more than most taxpayers would be able or willing to invest. Progress should also occur as time passes and though maturity has brought about significant change in a few documented cases, a person with autism will never just snap out of it. Other approaches being tried include music therapy and pet therapy, amongst other programs.

Understanding

Although they sometimes do not share the same classrooms as other students or live independently, people with autism are not unintelligent. To reiterate, autism does not affect the IQ. In fact, many people with autism earn college degrees. They just need to approach learning differently and at times receive a bit of guidance. Many autistic people tend to excel in problem solving and recognizing patterns. Their math skills are often far beyond the children in their age range and their records on sequential computer games such as Minesweeper can be impressive. Most children with autism will excel in fields such as music or art as well.

 

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Maurice Smith