Autism Spectrum Disorder

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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. As the prevalence of Autism continues to grow rapidly, it is proven fact that Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States. “On March 27, 2014, this surveillance study identified one in sixty-eight children (one in forty-two boys and one in one-hundred eighty-nine girls) as having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).” (DSM-IV, 2000). Eight-hundred thousand people younger than eighteen years are on record as having Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States. Most children display abnormalities within the first year of life; although most are diagnosed with Autism between the ages of two and three. Boys are nearly five times more likely than girls to have Autism. However, females with the disorder are more feasible to exhibit serious mental retardation. There are “approximately seventy-five percent of children with Autism are mentally handicapped; meaning their IQ ranges from thirty-five to fifty. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV, 2000) research suggests that only a small percentage of individuals with Autistic Disorder go on as adults to live and work independently.” ( DSM-IV, 2000) ... ... middle of paper ... ...l, and motor.” (Autism Spectrum Disorders Health Center, 2009). Academic goals include learning new skills like adding or subtracting. An IEP is planned to help improve learning social goals like appropriate play skills, like interacting with classmates during group activities. Behavioral skills developed with an IEP include attaining advanced coping mechanisms like asking for help and replacing problem behaviors. Lastly, motor goals that an IEP helps achieve can include working on handwriting skills to further academic progression. Children with special needs that are in the school system are considered “mainstreamed”. The process of mainstreaming is putting children with Autism or other disorders in regular school around “normal” kids. This technique is used so children with Autism can learn to adapt to certain situations and use these skills later in life.

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