Exploring and Unraveling Autism

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Autism Spectrum Disorder, known as ASD, is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autistic Disorder, referred to as autism or classical ASD, is the most common and severe form of ASD. Other less severe conditions along the spectrum include Asperger's Syndrome and Pervasive Development Disorder. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize. It is not completely understood as to why this occurs. Autism has a strong genetic basis and in rare cases, it is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 1.5 million Americans may be affected with autism. Not only does autism affect the diagnosed individual, it also affects caregivers, families, siblings, and friends who associate with them. The number of people diagnosed with autism has increased dramatically since the 1980's, partly due to changes in diagnostic practices. As studies on autism advance, researchers continue to evaluate and distribute more information so that individuals can become familiar and comfortable with this lifelong disorder. Today, autism is recognized as a significant independent neurologically based disorder, a major health and social struggle, and a topic of much research. According to the History of Autism official website, autism does not have a long history, because it was not diagnosed until the early 1930's. Prior to this time, individuals who portrayed autism-like symptoms were referred to as “insane.” In 1912, Swiss psychiatrist, Eugene Ble... ... middle of paper ... ... Homepage. Autism Society. Web. 06 Dec. 2011. . "Autism Products - Wholesale Autism Awareness Products." Free Articles Directory | Submit Articles - ArticlesBase.com. ArticlesBase.com, 23 Jan. 2010. Web. 06 Dec. 2011. . Grandin, Temple. "THINKING IN PICTURES: Autism and Visual Thought." Temple Grandin's Web Page. Web. 06 Dec. 2011. . Donvan, John, and Caren Zucker. "Autism’s First Child - Magazine - The Atlantic." The Atlantic — News and Analysis on Politics, Business, Culture, Technology, National, International, and Life – TheAtlantic.com. Web. 07 Dec. 2011. .

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