What Is Autism?

Submitted By khader91
Words: 1663
Pages: 7

A common question people ask nowadays is, "What is Autism?" Most people know very little about autism. What little do people know usually comes from movies and TV, and it usually is not true. So then, many people have “common misconceptions” about autism, and the people affected by it. Autism was first discovered by and viewed as a disease was by Leo Kanner, a scientist, in 1943. There are many causes to autism, many that are just theories, there are a lot of symptoms, but up to this day there hasn’t been a cure for it. The rates of people being diagnosed with autism is increasing everyday, many parents, teachers, and the general public do not have the knowledge to help autistic people. More autistic children will be place in childcare and preschools. This is why people need to understand the affects of learning and development with autistic children. According to the Autism Society of American website (www.autism-society.org), Autism is defined as “the brain disorder that starts in the very early years of a child and stays throughout adulthood. It affects three areas of development: verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction, and creative or imaginative play.” “It is a severe disorder of communication and behavior. It is a developmental disability that prevents individuals from properly understanding what they see, hear and sense.” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders;American Psychiatric Association, 1994) It is shown that autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and also racial, ethnic, family income, lifestyles or educational levels do not affect the chance of autism occurring. Whatever the cause, it is seen that children with autism are born with the disorder or with the chance to develop it. 2. Unfortunately, their is very little known about the causes of autism. However, according to research from the Autism Research Institiute Project, “current theories indicate a problem with the function or structure of the central nervous system.” The Autism Research Institute states that, “in many cases the disorder is evident during the first 30 months of life. The biological factors associated with autism are high levels of neurotransmitter serotonin, high amount of peptides, low muscle tone, poor coordination, and abnormal patterns of brain activity.” Autism is usually found before the age of three and affects the child’s performance in general, not just educationally. In autistic people their sensory messages are not all working right. People with autism have difficulties in communication, social behavior and how they view the world they live in. According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the disorder and its behaviors are approximately to happen to three to six children in every thousand. It is estimated that between 1 in 80 and 1 in 240 with an average of 1 in 110 children in the United States have autism. Scientists estimate that, in families with one autistic child, the risk of having a second child with the disorder is about 10%.” (CDC 2000), Autism is there from birth, but parents do not recognize the symptoms yet, the characteristics become more visible in the first three years. Parents are usually aware of early signs in their child's lack of communication, play and in their limited responses to love and affection. But many don’t view it as a big deal, they think the child will grow out of it. 3. Although no cure for autism exists today, doctors and scientists are looking at ways to help eliminate the causes. Researchers all over the world are linking autism to abnormal genetics, unreliable vaccines, mercury poisoning, and many other causes. Many researchers, doctors, and scientists conclude that autism is most likely a combination of many genetic and environmental factors. Many parents are worried that some vaccines are not safe and may harm their baby or young child. They may ask their