In the United States, autism may affect up to 115,000 children between one and 15 years of age with an uncertain prevalence in adults (Rapin, 1998). Because of the high number of cases in the United States alone, testing has grown and encompasses many different ages and areas of autistic patients and their symptoms. Because of increased testing, researchers have found different options to meet the challenges autism presents.
Testing has been administered before the knowledge of autism in the patient and throughout the knowledge of its existence as well. Testing has also been administered to control the chemical aspects of autism in patients of all ages. Therapists have gone so far as to believe that a hands off approach would "free the child by the therapist assuming responsibility for adult values" (Pinney, 1985).
With the vast amount of symptoms and behaviors in accordance with autism, testing has proven itself invaluable to the treatment of autistic patients. Because of the social impairment in children with autism, most standardized testing is unreliable; therefore, the best results may therefore be obtained from a standardized observation protocol (Longhurst, 1997).
In some instances it may take a little more than a year of evaluations and testing to successfully diagnose someone with autism. For this reason, researchers are working on different ways to assess children to isolate causes at an early age. Dr. Teitelbaum, a psychologist at the University of Florida, and other researchers discovered that autistic children appear to have subtle abnormalities in body movements that can be diagnosed as early as 3 months (Blakeslee, 1999).
Dr. Teitelbaum made assessments from a number of infants tha...
... middle of paper ...
... areas and stages of their autistic development. Testing through research has been an effective means of learning more about the disorder that affects so many and will even more so in the future. The more that is learned about autism, the more that can be done to help treat it. The need for treatment in autism is growing and the only way it can be cured is through testing. Associations such as the Autism Society of America has done a good job of compiling research and offering it to the general public and to other researchers. Autism will forever be a problem in the world, but because of testing it can be controlled and hopefully in the future be cured.
Brooks, John. South American Handbook. 55th ed. Bath: Trade & Travel Publications, 1979.
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