Autism And The Evolution Of Autism

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In 1943, Leo Kanner was the first to clinically recognize and define autism. Kanner believed a prominent attribute of children with autism was a lack of capacity to interact with peers and adults. He further asserted that children with autism, a Greek word meaning stereotypy, also exhibited little to no development of language, required environmental constants, and performed repetitious behavior; yet, exhibited success with particular functions (Cautilli, 2002). For more than 20 years following Kanner’s description, autism was chiefly misdiagnosed and improperly managed, even labeled untreatable. Although research was limited, each notable finding built upon the previous discovery, Nevertheless, one distinguishable breakthrough in the 1960s determined that children with intellectual disabilities could effectively and scientifically learn through the application of operant learning methods. As the years progressed, attitude toward autism began to change, as well as treatment possibilities. Consequently, the future for children identified with autism, who receive early intensive behavioral treatment, can be transformed from one of uncertainty to one where their lives include typical activities of their peers (Thompson, 2017). to one similar to their typically developing peers (Thompson, 2017). Substantial contributions in research has broadened the conception of autism. According to Thompson (2017), the conclusion that autism was treatable, as well as the importance of early intervention for behavioral modification were foremost in the evolution of autism research. Additionally, a link between autism and the brain was established, specifically the connection with cerebral dysfunction, such as motor, intellectual, and emotional pro... ... middle of paper ... ...ildren received no treatment. Therapy in year one for the trial group addressed behavioral concerns and promoted interaction. Year two sought to expand communication and social skills. Treatment during the third-year focused on academics and emotions. Upon completion of the treatment, the trial group’s mean IQ score was 30 points higher than the first control group, thus increasing the number of children with normal intellectual development from two to 12 and decreasing those established as average to severe from 10 to three. Furthermore, nine participants in the trial group made impressive cognitive and scholastic gains, obtained average to above average IQ scores, and completed first-grade classes in public school, without any assistance. An additional eight children completed first grade with assistance, and two children required special education (Lovaas, 1987).

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