Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is behavioral and social communication impairment. It is a broad-based neurodevelopment or brain-based disorder that is the result of genetic events that occur prior to birth with widespread effects on cognitive and socio-emotional development (Geschwind, 2009). Scientist’s aren’t certain about what causes autism, but it’s generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function, genetics/heredity, or environmental factors. Studies have found several irregularities in many regions of the brain, and abnormal levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) autism can result from the disruption of normal brain development early in fetal development caused by defeats in genes that control brain growth and regulate how brain cells communicate with each other. There are several studies in process to determine the genetic/heredity factors associated with autism. In some cases, the parents and/or relatives can have certain medical conditions including Fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome tuberous sclerosis, some emotional disorders, and untreated phenylketonuria (PKU) that can result in an autistic baby. Research also indicates other factors besides genetics contributing to the increase in autism. Head researcher Hjordis Osk Atladottir from the University of Aarhus, Denmark emphasize that during pregnancy women with influenza were at twice the risk of their unborn baby developing autism. The study of persistent fevers that lasted at least a week tripled the risk for an autistic baby (Hjordis Osk Atladottir). Furthermore, women who used antibiotics during their pregnancy were at... ... middle of paper ... ...ric Association DSM-IV (1984.) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Works Cited American Psychiatric Association DSM-IV (1984.) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.). American Psychiatric Association. Baron-Cohen, S. (1985). Mindblindness: An essay on autism and theory of mind. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press. Baron-Cohen, S., Ring, H.A., Bullmore, E. T., Wheelwright, S., Ashwin, & Williams, S. C. R. (2000). The amygdala theory of AUTISM. Neuroscience. Behavior Review, 24, 434-438. Geschwind, D. H., & Levitt, P. (2007). Autism spectrum disorders: developmental disconnection syndromes. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 17, 103-111. Minshew, N.J., & Williams, D.L. (2007). The new neurobiology of autism: Profile of a complex information processing disorder. Journal of the international Neuropsychological Society, 3, 303-316.
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Admittedly, when I first chose to explore autism, I figured it would be an easier psychological issue to discuss than bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia. Only after researching autism for an hour or so, I quickly realized this was not the case. Autism may very well be one of the most complex and examined disorders, for it’s a disorder that stirs up tons of questions yet yields very few answers. So what exactly is it? What are the causes and symptoms? Is there a cure? How many people are affected by autism? Is it being properly portrayed in mainstream media? In this paper, I’ll do my very best to touch on these questions and hopefully leave the ones reading with a better understanding of this disorder.
Autism is a neurobiological disorder that causes discrepancies or differences in the way information is processed (Essential Guide to Finally Understanding Autism). The process of obtaining information affects an individual with autisms ability to do many things. For example, someone with this particular disorder may have more trouble understanding and using language to interact and communicate with people. He or she may also experience difficulty understanding and relating to people, events, and objects in the environment. Autism also affects ones ability to respond to sensory stimuli. Like other developmental disabilities, autism effects can range in the differentiations of severity.
The Autism Spectrum is a mystery. With no cause or cure, researchers have been working hard, to the best of their abilities, to diagnose, treat, and educate those with autism. For centuries, since 1943, with enhanced technology, the view on autism has improved tremendously. New advancements have been developed to diagnose autism earlier, help create more successful treatments, and to help better an educational plan for people with autism.
In 1943, a man by the name of Leo Kanner formally identified autism; he labeled the disorder ?autistic disturbance of affective contact? (?Autism Web? n.d.). Autism was first described in America, officially, in 1980 with the publication of DSMIII (Tanguay, Robertson, Derrick, 1980). There was much confusion, both before and after Kanner's description, regarding the continuity of autism with schizophrenia and other then-recognized forms of psychosis (Lippcott/Williams & Wilkins, 1999). Kanner noticed that autistic infants had a reverse pattern typically observed in normal infants.
Autism is a disability that interferes with the normal development of the human brain in the areas of reasoning, social interaction and communication skills, typically appearing during the child's first three years (“What is Autism?”, the Autism pages 2004, from the Autism society of America). It occurs in roughly 15 to 20 of every 10,000 births and is five times more common in males than in females (“Autism: What to look for”, pamphlet by the Autism Society of the Phils.). Although recent advances have been made with respect to possible roots, the exact cause of this condition remains unknown. Children and adults with autism typicall...
There is no known single cause of autism. Researchers are investigating a number of possible theories including genetics, heredity, medical problems, problems during pregnancy or delivery, as well as environmental influences. It is widely accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in the brain structure or function. There is evidence from neuropathological studies that autism has its origins in abnormal brain development early in prenatal life which continues postnatally, showing acceleration in brain growth measured by head circumference (Zwaigenbaum, L., Bryson, S., Rogers, T., Roberts, W., Brian, J., & Szatmari, P., 2005). The disorder also seems to have a genetic basis, although researchers have yet to find the specific genes that link to the onset of autism. There could be a cluster of genes that have somehow interfered with normal brain development and function. Studies show that twins of children with autism were more likely to be autistic themselves than the regular population, demonstrating there is a heredity lin...
Autism is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. The Autism spectrum is vast and varies in degree of severity from person to person. The challenges that come with Autism Disorder include difficulty in social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism has been a diagnosable disorder since 1951. Treatment options have changed since the first diagnosis. Available treatment today has advanced over the sixty-three year span and has become the best possible form of treatment available for Autism.