Autism the Word Essay example

Submitted By haylebluebird
Words: 892
Pages: 4

The word “autism” comes from the Greek world “autos” which means “self.” The term describes certain conditions in which a person isolates themselves from social interactions. Eugen Bleuler was the first to use the term in 1911, when he was referring to a symptom of schizophrenics. It wasn’t until 1940 that “autism” started to be used to refer to children who have social and/or emotional problems. From the 60s-70s research related to autism treatments focused on medications likes LSD, electric shock, and behavioral change techniques. Later, treatment relied on pain and punishment. During the 80s and the 90s, behavioral therapy and highly controlled learning environments appeared as the primary treatment for several forms of autism and conditions that related to it. Autism therapy is the current behavioral therapy for this condition. (

Martin Luther wrote about a young boy that had autism and Eugen Bleuler was the first to ever actually use the word “autism” (1911). Also, many claim the Leo Kanner should be credited for discovering autism. He was working at the Johns Hopkins Hospital when he researched 11 children with similar behavioral traits. After observing them he named their disease as early infantile autism. Later he published a paper about his findings in 1943. All in all, each of these men had a part in discovering autism. (

Currently, researchers do not understand what causes autism in people. However, several scientists believe that it has something to do with genetics and environmental factors. Researchers also do not know enough about autism to determine whether or not autism is hereditary, sex-linked, or a mutation. All that is known is that autism has to do with genetics. Other than that, some believe that autism is 90-97% inherited. (

The symptoms are listed below:
- The main symptom for a person with autism is impaired social interaction. Those with autism might not respond to their name and avoid eye contact with others. They may also have a hard time interpreting social cues (tone of voice, facial expressions) and they don't watch other people's faces to learn the cues.
- Several children with autism rock, spin, twirl, jump, or do abusive behavior to their self. (Ex: biting their hands, head-banging).
- May develop seizures
- May have dysmorphic features, microcephaly, or brain malformations.
Autism is generally developed fully by the age of three and is different for everyone who has the disorder. Also, there are no prenatal tests for autism. People who have autism have a regular lifespan, and are expected to live just as long as someone who doesn’t have autism. Autism isn’t a life threatening disease, like cancer, but it does it make it hard on the person who has the disorder.

Genetics have a lot to do with autism; however there is no specific gene or chromosome that is affected by this disorder (X, Y, #21). Recently, it has been learned that autism has a lot to do with balanced chromosomal abnormalities. (DNA sequencing displays that when chromosomes give arrows, genes lose their functions although no genetic information is missing.)

Autism affects people of all races, genders, and socioeconomic status’. However, autism is more frequent boys that in girls. There are 4 boys for every 1 girl with the autistic disorder, and 1 in 166 people have autism.