Autism Disorder

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Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder of the brain that severely impacts socialization, communication, and may even cause obsessive or repetitive behaviors. Autism delays the brain's normal development, and is also correlated with a milder form of the syndrome known as a pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-N OS). Since it was first identified in 1943, there has been increasing rate in new diagnoses each year. Muhle, Trenracoste, and Rapin (2004) found that the rate of diagnosis for Autism has risen 556% between the years of 1991 and 1997. Many feel that this increase is due to a shifting of diagnostic criteria, or newer defining characteristics of the syndrome. The expansion of the diagnostic criteria also indirectly relates to the increase of services provided for Autistic children, therefore increasing the shift. Because of this increase of diagnoses, more awareness has been brought to pediatricians, further increasing the rate in which Autism is diagnosed ("Autism," 2010). Glasson et al. (2004) found that the frequency in which the disorder is diagnosed has risen to almost 60 per 10000 people. Another factor in the increase of the diagnosis of Autism is that children are being diagnosed at a much earlier age. Parents are identifying problematic behaviors earlier in a child's life, sometimes as early as 8 months of age (Bristol-Power & Spinella 1999).

Studies have shown that Autism is more prevalent in boy than in girls, with a male to female ratio of 3:1 (Muhle et al., 2004). It is unclear why exactly autism tends to develop in males rather than females, but the fact that males are more statistically prone to develop Autism, suggests that the genes associated with the sex X chromosome may ...

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...nt sometimes improves the child behavioral skills vastly.

Works Cited

Autism. (n.d.). Retrieved from:

Baron-Cohen, S., Ring, H.A., Bullmore, E.T., Wheelwright, S., Ashwin, C., Williams, S.C.R. (2000). The amygdala theory of autism. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 24, 355-64

Bristol-Power, M. & Spinella,G (1999). Research on Screening and Diagnosis in Autism: A Work in Progress [Abstract]. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders 29, 435

Glasson, E., Bower, C., Petterson, B., Klerk, N., Chaney, G., Hallmayer, F. (2004). Perinatal Factors and the Development of Autism: A Population Study. Arch Gen Psychiatry 61,618-27

Muhle, R., Tentacoste, SV., Rapin, I. (2004). The Genetics of Autism [Absract]. Pediatrics 5, 472-86

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2005).
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