What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Submitted By marinesproudsis
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Autism Autism is something that is very hard to deal with. It can turn even the strongest into the weakest. Parents with children who have this horrible disorder have to cope with many things that are unknown to someone who has never experienced it. Autism can be a complex, unknown disorder; however there are many ways to help out the people with the disorder. Autism is a unique disorder because not any person who has it has the same symptoms and issues. There can be very mild cases of it, or very extreme. The severity of these symptoms varies; however, there are always common symptoms for being diagnosed with autism. Some of these include antisocial behaviors with other people. For example, lack of sympathy, not making eye contact, the lack of sharing interests, and simply not making friends. Also most people have a delayed time in learning how to speak. However, the symptoms of autism usually changes as the person gets older and learns ways to adapt to different issues they may have. “Parents often become concerned when their toddler does not like to be held, does not seem interested in playing certain games, such as peekaboo, and does not begin to talk” (Autism 1). As the person with the disorder gets older, it turns into things more related to bonding with other people. The wide range of characteristics a person can obtain is all considered part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder, (ASD). ASD encompasses PDD and also includes autism, Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders. It is not common knowledge to know that there are so many diseases that are so similar to autism. Although autism is the most severe out of all the different ones in the ASD, they are all closely related and just as hard to cope with as a parent. There are many possible causes of this unfortunate disorder. There is not one single known cause for it. There are some people that say it is an immune disorder, while others say it is genetic and depends on if your parents have the genes for it or not. There are also studies that show that it has something to do with the brain. “It is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children with autism versus neuro-typical children” (Causes 1).There have also been myths for years that the cause of autism was mothers who neglect their child and do not show them any love or support, however, this has been proven to be invalid. One hypothesis that a scientist had was that the vaccinations children get these days from their doctors could be causing the onset of autism. He explained that there are low levels of mercury in every vaccination a child receives. Mercury is a heavy metal that should never be ingested. Could certain children just be more sensitive to it than others? It appears there is no solid evidence linking the two things together. This should be a relief to parents, knowing they are not indirectly harming their child. “But what I think is kind of interesting is, forget all of that, it’s insane to make population-wide conclusions on a 12-person case series” (Vaccines 1). This was said by a MIT graduate student about the scientist who did the experiment to see if vaccines had contributed something to the disorder. There is constant research to whether it is caused by one of these things, or from the pregnancy or delivery of the mother, or maybe even from being exposed to certain things in the environment. This is because the amount of children diagnosed with autism is rising every day. “Although the prevalence of autism and similar disorders appears to have increased recently, it is not clear if this is an actual increase or the result of increased recognition and changes in diagnostic criteria” (Result). As a society, we have a lot more technology and training for things that have not always been around. A good