Autism Essay

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Autism is a developmental disability that hugely impacts the lives of the people it touches. The word Autism comes from the Greek word autos, meaning self. To say that it only touches the life of the individual would be naïve; it is better stated that autism goes deep down into the person’s being, consuming their whole life by impacting their communication skills; intelligence, language and their overall behavior. There are many forms and degrees of severity of autism, therefore there is no universal treatment and each individual with the disability will respond to treatment in different ways. However, there are steps that can be taken to ensure that the individual develops and thrives. Autism affects not only how an individual interacts and communicates with others but how they develop; there is no cure, but early diagnosis, treatment and behavioural support can alleviate the stress of living with autism.
It must be understood that an early diagnosis plays a large role in choosing the appropriate treatment and behavioural support for a child with autism. There are signs and symptoms that can be recognized which should prompt a diagnosis. Generally speaking, symptoms of autism can begin to appear around the age of three. They include lack of touch, little eye contact, and no verbal skills. Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute recognized that delays in social skills, communication and motor skills can be seen as early as 14 months of age. Studies show that a child’s neural plasticity is at its maximum when a child is very young. (Exkorn, 2005, 88) When a child is only 14 months old their brain is more malleable and receptive. If you provide early intervention to children during these sensitive periods (zero to twelve wee...

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...ed – as the endpoint to an illness. But not anymore. In fact, my vision of healing doesn’t imply illness at all. And it’s not some passive state where you can wait for something to happen. Rather, I now think of healing as an active process: an energetic and constantly evolving process that encompasses hope and acceptance.” (6) The word disability is described as a condition that damages or limits a person's physical or mental abilities. (Merriam-Webster dictionary) Many would argue that this definition is inaccurate, especially for children with autism. Although some autistic individuals may seem handicapped to society because of their different forms of communication, high/low intelligence and social issues, they have talents and gifts locked up inside their brain that can be revealed through the assistance of early diagnosis, treatment and behavioural support.
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