Autism; a disorder that people are starting to realize is pretty common. Very little is actually known about autism and the reasons behind its crippling life-long effects. With the number of diagnosed autism patients is rising at an unbelievable pace, researchers are doing all they can to discover a way to bring the patients who seem to be lost "in their own world" (Caronna and Tager-Flusberg, 2007) back to reality. The symptoms, therapy of medicine, risk factors, effects on language, and ongoing research will all be talked about in this paper to hopefully inform people and families that are unaware. Autism can be described as a severe developmental disorder that is usually diagnosed before the age of three, and usually involves untreatable mental retardation and communication problems throughout the patient's life. Leading research has concluded that with early diagnosis, the level of severity of the disorder can be decided.
People should be aware of autism's risk factors and symptoms to help detect the disorder early. The numbers of autism cases has been rising primarily due to the discovery that autism can be prevalent even in people who have average IQs and the rates can be as high as 60 per 10,000 (Lindgren, 2009). The people with the largest chances of being born with the disorder are family members of current autism patients; new studies have found that the reoccurrence rate in families can be as high as 10%. This genetic disorder is also 4 times as likely to strike the male population, even though they aren’t exactly sure why. The main symptoms of autism that all researchers agree on are repetitive motor movements and speech, impairments in communication and interaction with others.
Another symptom of autism is attentiveness, which is failing to develop the skill of sharing an experience with a person by following their gaze or look to the object they are pointing to. This skill is adamant to mental development and is developed around the first birthday in life. If we didn’t have early detection, crucial months of development pass without any progress since the child struggles with taking in new information. The child might suffer from a lack of babbling, no motivation to communicate, and strange repetitive noises such as yelling and screeching and not responding to their name.
In fact, autism has a severely debilitating effect on language expression and comprehension. Even patients with high functioning autism (HFA) who have gone through extensive training, still never manage to overcome some factors of communication; primarily pragmatics and prosody. For instance, when compared to normal children in an experiment, autistic children made twice the amount of mistakes regarding which segment of the word to stress (Grossman & Taer-Flusberg, 2008). Even though the pattern of word acquisition is very similar to normal children, the grammar and order of words remains atypical. Current research states that this is most likely caused by the lack of joint attention; making syntax difficult since the two have a positive correlation to each other. While autistic patients can learn many words, they specifically struggle with terms that can have multiple meanings or relate to emotions.
With such serious communication problems, merging with the rest of society is difficult for autistic people. Leading medications are still experimental, but have the possibility to increase quality of life. Obsessive compulsive behaviors can be reduced with clomipramine and hyperactivity can be controlled with neuroleptics (Lindgren, 2009). But currently, the main treatment used is based on different therapy methods. Music therapy is gaining popularity and stimulates social interaction within autistic children by allowing them to listen and play instruments together without having the pressure to form speech (Autism PDD). Motion therapy is another form that is the platform of many other techniques. It involves allowing an…