Black Hills State University
Autism is a heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorder identified by social impairments, cognitive impairments, communication difficulties, and repetitive behaviors. The pervasiveness of Autism in the world is around 1%. It is more likely to affect male than female individuals. These individuals experience abnormal cognitive figurations involving impaired social cognition and perception, decision-making dysfunction, and uncommon information processing. A combination of genetics and developmentally early environmental factors are the elements of cause for the disorder, mutations increase the risks as well. The key to treatment is early detection, which is crucial for early intervention. It is best to establish a healthy, encouraging environment for the individual that displays respect and no judgment of their unique differences.
Intrigued and confused? If you ever have met or come to know an individual with Autism, you may find this mnemonic device that is used above to be quite fitting in the characteristics of the complex personality. Since Autism was first diagnosed, the disorder has jumped to a startling number of 1 in 68 children in the United States alone. Males are four times more likely to have Autism than females. Due to the growing numbers, research has excelled tremendously over the past decade in hopes to spread awareness and provide answers for those affected along with their families and care providers. While there are many unanswered questions about the disorder, there is a lot of groundwork of understanding established. The optimistic view for future research and findings is that the affected can reach their full potential in life through proper effective treatment. (McIlwain, 2014)
The most common indication of Autism is impaired social interaction. The first signs of Autism can be diagnosed as early as infancy, by showing unresponsiveness to people but a particular interest in one object at one long length of time. They appear to be indifferent with social interaction with parents and other children. The individual may fail to respond to their names and avoid eye contact. They have difficulties understanding what others around them are thinking or feeling because of their inability to pick up different social cues, body language, and facial expressions. They will show little to no emotion to almost any scenario. These social impairments make daily interaction with other children and even care givers, a challenge for the individual. Another common characteristic found in many Autistic children is their repetitive movements such as rocking or twirling, also self-injury movements such as biting or head banging. There is a probability in co-occurring conditions such as tuberous sclerosis, epileptic seizures, Fragile X syndrome (causes mental retardation), attention deficit disorder, Tourette syndrome, and other learning disabilities are common. By adulthood 30 percent of children who have Autism will have epilepsy. Many will experience depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, and personality disorders as they age. In most cases, symptoms will improve with age and treatment. (Lai, Lombardo, Baron-Cohen, 2014)
The Autism Spectrum is varied widely in severity and symptoms much are gone undetected until later years or are hard to read due to other disabilities. It is essential that the individual be screened as early as possible so that treatment and intervention can start. Autism is diagnosed by experts who will look for the following signs: no babbling by age 1, no single words by 16 months or phrases by age 2, no response to name, loss of language or social skills, poor eye contact, excessive interest in order in objects, no smiling or facial expressions. The later indicators are the following: inability to make…