The Everchanging Diagnosis of Autism
Throughout the years the diagnosis of autism has changed dramatically. Once, it was mistakenly diagnosed as childhood schizophrenia. Now that much more extensive research has been done, researchers have found distinct characteristics that are typical of autistic individuals.
It is most often characterized by difficulty in the child's ability to respond to people, events, and objects. Responses to sensations of light, sound, and feeling may be exaggerated. Delayed speech and language may be associated. Other characteristics include: impairment in ability to make peer friendships, absence of imaginative activity, stereotyped body movements, persistent preoccupation with parts of objects, marked distress over changes in trivial aspects of the environment, unreasonable insistence on following routines in precise detail, a restricted range of interests and a preoccupation with one narrow interest, along with many others.
Although certain characteristics are typical of autistic children, the diagnosis is a multidisciplinary effort. The diagnosis requires a team of professionals because of the many unique characteristics and behaviors of the autistic child Each professional is assigned a different behavior to monitor. However, the psychiatrist and the psychologist are mainly responsible for the diagnosis and the psychological evaluations involved. The onset of this condition is usually observed within the first two and a half years.
In 1968, the APA referred to autism as a single disorder, and now it is known to be a syndrome of behavioral and medical effects. Along with autism, several related disorders are grouped under Pervasive Developmental Disorders, PDD, a general category ...
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...disorders and cuts down on the affects of allergies. There have been some problems with this though and it is questionable whether or not it will become widely used.
As the research shows, there are numerous ways to find treatments for autism. It is also important to keep up with the medical research because they seem to be finding and approving new treatments quite often. The most important part is finding out what is best for the individual and going from there.
McClannahan, Lynn E. (1999). Activity Schedules for Children with Autism. New York: Woodbine House Inc.
Kranowitz, Carol M.D. (1998). The Out of Sync Child. NewYork: Skylight Press.
Pierangelo, Roger Ph.D. (1996). Special Education Guide. New York: The Center for Applied Research in Education.
Schopler, Eric. (1995). The Autistic Survival Manual. London: Plenum Press.