The Signs of Autism

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At the age of two, my brother was diagnosed with autism. While he was playing at McDonalds, we noticed that there was something different about John Doe. He was not associating himself with the other children and would not take off his shoes. He would also not show affection or keep eye contact with someone. This left us very curious to why he was behaving so differently than the average two year old. When the doctors told us he had autism we were all in shock, but glad to know why he was so different. Autism has many signs, diagnoses, and unknown causes, which has led to the development of coping mechanisms and the need for on-going research. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines autism as “Autism spectrum disorder of ASD is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorder, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior” (“Autism Fact Sheet”). The term “autism” has been used for over 100 years; it comes from the Greek word “autos” meaning “self.” Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, was the first person to use the term “autism.” He started using it to describe one group of symptoms of schizophrenia. In the 1940’s, the term “autism” was used to describe children with emotional or social problems. In the same year, Hans Asperger, a German scientist, identified a similar condition that is now referred to as Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger syndrome is a milder form of autism. Children with Asperger’s are not as low functioning as children with autism. From the 1960’s to the 1970’s, much research was being done on autism. Researches for treatments for autism were mainly focused on types of medications, electric sh... ... middle of paper ... ...or mechanics. Things that would take the average person to learn in weeks, a child with autism can pick up in a day or two. They see things differently and in a more defined way. Sounds and colors can appear to be more extreme and vibrant. A small buzzing noise that the average person may not hear, a person with autism will hear it clear as day. The autistic brain is very talented. In 1997, the National Institutes of Health formed its Autism coordinating committee to help find a cure for autism. Research is still being done to help find new cures and treatments (“Autism Fact Sheet”). Autism has many difficulties that come with the disease. Many signs, diagnoses, causes, coping mechanisms, and treatment options exist. Besides all of the obstacles that children with autism face, they have a magnificent brain. Maybe having autism is not so bad after all.

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