“Autistic Spectrum Disorders” are when children have a few of the autistic symptoms but not enough to be diagnosed with the “classical” form of the condition. Some examples of this disorder are the “Asperger Syndrome”, which is when children have an autistic behavior but no language problems and “childhood disintegrative disorder" (CDD), which is when one seems to be normal at first but begins to show autistic behavior as they get older. It is also important to rule out other problems that seem similar to autism.
There is no cure for autism. Treatments are aimed at reducing specific symptoms. The symptoms vary so widely from one person to the next. There is not a single approach that works for every person. A spectrum of interventions includes training in music, listening, vision, speech and language, and senses. Special diets and medications may also be prescribed. Studies show that people with autism can improve significantly with proper treatment. A child with autism can learn best with special teachers in a structured program that emphasizes individual instruction (Cohen). Ryan has a 504 plan but works with grade level curriculum. When tests are scheduled he does not take the test until he is emotionally ready. The writing assessments such as memoirs and research papers require more one on one time and support. The teacher makes sure that he has all the materials that he need in order to progress through the day as well as when he returns home.
In the Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Development Disorders ...
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...These opportunities help them to become participating members of their communities through advocacy, public awareness, education, and research related to autism. Other organizations are Autism Research Institute, Autism Network International, and National Fragile X Foundation (Wing).
While there is no cure, with appropriate treatment the negative behaviors of autism may improve. Earlier generations placed autistic children in institutions but today, even severely disabled children can be helped in a less restrictive environment to develop to their highest potential. Many can eventually become more responsive to others as they learn to understand the world around them, and some can lead nearly normal lives. People with autism have a normal life expectancy. Some people with autism can handle a job. They do best with structured jobs that involve a degree of repetition.
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