Brain Development and Autism

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Oliver 1 The brain begins to develop in the mother’s womb and continues to develop as the child develops. The development of the brain contributes to the functioning of the body by controlling functions such as fine and gross motor skills, vision, and memory. The brain does not develop at the same pace for all children. Therefore, engaging children in physical activities, learning activities, and communication will assist with brain development. Due to advancements in technology, the world is able to understand how important brain research is to the early detection of autism. Leo Kanner is the first person to formally identified autism. In 1943, Kanner labeled autism as “autistic disturbance of affective contact”. Initially, there was a lot of confusion concerning Kanner’s description of autism because it was closely related to the characterization of schizophrenia and other then-recognized forms of psychosis. Kanner noticed that autistic infants had a reverse behavior typically observed in normal infants (Blancher and Christensen 2011). If behavior originates from the brain, then it becomes obvious that in order to discover the causes of abnormal behavior a comparison must be made between a healthy brain and the autistic brain. Structural differences, such as size and composition, can have a significant impact on how the autistic brain processes information. Researchers have found that the cerebellum is larger and the corpus callosum is smaller in the autistic brain, which means there is a brain defect in the autistic mind. Therefore, there is a variation between a normal person and one with autism. These differences cause an autistic person to have impaired social interaction, difficulty with both verbal and nonver... ... middle of paper ... ...ctual and Developmental Disabilities, 2011, 49 (3):172-191. Cornish, E. “Gluten and Casein Free Diets in Autism: A Study of the Effects on Food Choice and Nutrition”. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 2002, 15: 261–269. Goldring, Stacy; Herrera, Adriana M.; Hepburn, Susan; Laura Greiss-Hess; Suzanne Macari; Sally J. Rogers; Sally Ozonoff; Joel Steele; Gregory S. Young. "Gross Motor Development, Movement Abnormalities, and Early Identification of Autism". The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2008, 38 (4): 644-656. John, L.R.; Morrow, Eric M.; Walsh, Christopher A. “Autism and Brain Development”. The Cell, 2008, 135:396–400. Palmer, Pat and Priven, Joseph. “Psychiatric Disorder and the Broad Autism Phenotype: Evidence from a Family Study of Multiple-Incidence Autism Families.” The American Journal of Psychiatry, 1999, 156(4):557-567.

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