The Seemingly Uncurable Disorder Essay

Submitted By MissG23
Words: 1913
Pages: 8

Professor Shwartz
AUSP 300

The Seemingly Incurable Disorder
Imagine living with an incurable disorder in which you have serious problems with your speaking, processing, and emotions. It is hard to believe, but for one out of every 110 children in America, this is reality (Boyle, 2010). Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate. There are thousands of unanswered questions about the disorder, but with today’s advanced technology, there is not a day that goes by in which progress isn’t made toward solving Autism’s mysteries. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a highly complex disorder of the brain. ASD is classified as a developmental disorder, meaning that errors occur in the stages of brain development and affect the amygdala, limbic system, and possibly even the cerebellum. These regions of the brain are related to language, information, and emotional processing. Autism affects every aspect of a person’s life, primarily the ability to improve on and strengthen their social skills (Bethesda, 2007). Currently, there is no cure for ASD, and it lasts a lifetime. There are three main symptoms of autism, and they are communication, social interaction, and behavior problems. Often times, children with autism are either minimally verbal or nonverbal entirely. This means that their main form of communication resides in facial expressions, or perhaps pointing or motioning to an object or person. An autistic person also has problems with their social interactions. They usually are unable to hold conversations with others for very long, if at all, and they rarely show any signs of empathy (Bethesda, 2007). Lastly, a common symptom of Autism Spectrum Disorder is the repetition of certain random behaviors. For instance, an autistic person may repeat one word over and over again, arrange certain items in a specific way, or follow a strict routine when performing a task. Many of these behaviors are completely unexplained. With Autism having so much of an affect on a person’s ability to communicate with others, many autistic children take drastic measures in attempting to talk to their peers. Some common signs of being happy are flapping of the arms or excessive laughter. Sadness can be shown by a multitude of actions, including crying, tantrums, and most disturbing of all causing harm to themselves. No autistic child or person is exactly like the next, and while there are common symptoms within the disorder, the extent and severity of the disorder vary from person to person. There is one thing that is completely certain about Autism Spectrum Disorder, however, and that is that it not only affects the person diagnosed; it affects their peers, friends, and family as well. The first child diagnosed with autism was Donald Gray Triplett at 18 years old (Donavan, 2011). When he was diagnosed, his psychiatrists described him as “Oddly distant, uninterested in conversation, and awkward in his movements, Donald nevertheless possessed a few advanced faculties of his own, including a flawless ability to name musical notes as they were played on the piano and a genius for multiplying numbers in his head” (Donavan, 2011, p. 2-3). People all over town knew him for his unique sense of abilities. He knew how many bricks made up his high school and how to multiply 87 times 23 instantly. He was first seen at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Donald was the first to have a condition unlike anything reported so far. When he was three, he was institutionalized. They thought he was “overstimulated” or maybe had schizophrenia. He had problems with behaviors and his parents couldn’t handle it. They thought a change of environment might be what he needed. In past years, an institution was where you went if you had a mental illness. In this case, that’s what Donald’s parents thought he had. The institution did not help him, of course, because no one knew what he had back