18 May 2015
Effects and Management of Autism in Children
Autism now has a diagnosis rate of 1-50 with occurrence in boys being 5 times greater than girls. With such a high rate of diagnosis there has been an increase of awareness into the effects of this neurodevelopmental disorder and the ways to help manage it. Autism negatively affects socialization and communication and is usually noticed by age three.
Children with Autism are very self-absorbed and struggle in three core areas of functioning. The first are their non-verbal abilities such as reading facial expressions that aid in social interaction. The second area is language, which is delayed, and only used to get what they want and not to take part in an exchange of ideas. The third area in which children with Autism are behind is in the amount of make believe play that they take part in. All of this shows that children with Autism’s theory of mind or ideas about mental activities is not at the same level of the average child. “As early as the second year, children with Autism show deficits in emotional and social capacities believed to contribute to an understanding of mental life.”(Textbook 342)
One of the more noticeable effects of Autism in children is the lack of social awareness. They have trouble relating to others thoughts and feeling as they really just see the world as it pertains to them. A child with Autism generally has trouble comprehending when someone is talking about something other than what the child is looking at or doing.
These deficiencies make it quite hard for a child affected by Autism to fit in with other children. Their lack of social skills and a competent theory of mind really hold them back as far as forming normal relationships with people. As a result there are some methods that have become popular treatments for Autism and its effects.
One of the most popular way to help children with Autism improve upon their social skills is through social skills groups, peer training, and structured joint play activities. These methods are very widely used and appear to have a very positive affect on children that participate in these programs, however there is still some debate as to how much and to what extent.
“The general conclusion is that, despite their widespread use in both clinical and educational settings, empirical support for social skills training programmes is minimal, and it is evident that a far more systematic approach to research in this area is required.”(Howlin 137)
Another method that has been found to help improve social skills and proper reactions in children with Autism is Social Stories. Social stories use cartoon-type drawings to help show children why they experience certain social issues and why people react the way that they do. These stories also help to show the child the proper way to respond in those situations. Like the other methods mentioned above there have been…