November 20th 2014
Mental illness is described as not being able to cope or manage life in an everyday situation. Autism, being one of many mental illnesses, is found in all racial and economic backgrounds. Autism happens in early childhood and is usually diagnosed around 18 months of age but can start any time before three years of age.
Autism causes delays in development such as learning and interactions with others. “One in an estimated 110 children gets diagnosed with this Autism disease.” This is a disease in which currently there is no cure. Autism used to be blamed on bad parenting skills. The signs, symptoms and effects on autism can vary based on each child. Doctors and experts cannot agree on how to treat autism. Early intervention is key in making a difference with Autism.
Like previously stated, this is a disease that causes delays in development such as learning to play and interact with others. There are a few red flags a person might look for before beginning an actual diagnosis. With younger children, a few of these may be avoiding eye contact or wanting to play alone. Delayed speech or language skills, can be another sign, especially not responding to their name by 12 months of age. Signs and symptoms can be mild or severe based on the child.
Most symptoms are short attention span, temper tantrums, unusual eating and sleeping habits, and lack of fear. “Around forty percent of people with autism never speak and some have difficulty learning to talk or holding a conversation.” Routines are very important for people with autism, so that there is consistency.
Before diagnosing a child or individual for any matter, it is important to know what is true and what is not about the disease because there are a few myths about people with Autism. Some people believe that people with Autism cannot express emotion or that they are intellectually disabled. Both of the assumptions are not true. People with Autism express emotion differently and may also seem advanced in other areas or things different than other people. People may say that individuals with Autism will grow out of it, also false because Autism is a lifelong disease. Even though symptoms may get better with time with help and support.
Some abnormalities have been detected in autism such as increased blood levels of serotonin. Also neurotransmitters are linked to mental illnesses, because there is an abnormal balance of chemicals in the brain. Neurotransmitters help nerve cells communicate with each other in the brain. Serotonin, constricts blood vessels at the injury sites, and can affect emotions, sleep, mood, and some sensory perception, along with body-temperature regulation and appetite. It also affects the rate at which hormones are released and has something to do with tissue inflammation. Individuals with Autism are known to have increased levels of serotonin in their blood. These individuals produce, absorb or metabolize serotonin differently than those who are not autistic.
Autism can be difficult to diagnose . Professionals such as a child psychiatrist or psychologist will observe behaviors in an individual who may have Autism by taking note of factors such as social, communication and mental skills. If autism is found, then multiple tests will be performed. Tests include psychological testing, IQ test, blood, urine, DNA, and chromosome testing. This includes a skills test to compare abilities to that of a “normal” child as well as testing of motor, visual, and coordination skills. Blood and urine test may also be done to diagnose autism. Because certain genetic disorders can be associated with autism, DNA and chromosome testing is recommended. MRI’s can also be done to show abnormal brain growth…