“Autism is a complex neurobehavioral disorder that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills, and rigid, repetitive behaviors” (WebMD, 2012a). In another words, autism is a lifelong disability that blocks the learning, language communication, emotional and social development of a child. Another way to define autism is that it is a developmental disorder that appears during the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills (PubMed, 2010). It is a form of disorder with a wide range of symptoms which are so mild that a child can function in a regular classroom setting with special services or at other times it is so severe that a child is mute and institutionalized (NASOM, 2012). It ranges in severity from a handicap that limits an otherwise a normal life to a devastating disability that may require institutional care. Autism is considered to have a physical condition which is linked to abnormal activities of the biology and chemistry in the brain (Smith, Segal & Hutman, 2012). But, the real or exact causes of these unspecified abnormalities are still remained a mystery which prompts youngsters to be interested and turns out as a very active area of research. There are probably combinations of factors that lead to autism. Chronological flow of autism research
Back in 1938, an American psychiatrist, Leo Kanner had observed 11 children (subjects) which he believed have autism’s symptoms. After 10 years observation, he was the first who described autism as a disorder and published a paper about it with the title, “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact” to describe the symptoms that he found on behaviors of his subjects. He described autism as an early form of schizophrenia. “The combination of extreme autism, obsessiveness, stereotypy, and echolalia brings the total picture into relationship with some of the basic schizophrenia phenomena” (Kanner, n.d). Leo Kanner’s theory of autism is more based on practical. He observed and recorded the backgrounds, behaviors, and later development of the 11 subjects. He found some similarities in characteristics among them and this helped him to categorize characteristic of autism. Leo Kanner claimed that autistic children normally have inability to relate themselves in the ordinary way to people and situations from the beginning of life (Kanner, n.d). They are much more desired for aloneness and their aloneness is basically caused from their poor parenting families. Even facts show that autistic children mostly came from families with highly intelligent parents, but few of those parents are really warmhearted. Their parents referred to them as they always pretend there is nobody around them; they feel happy and comfortable when they are alone. The children’s relation to people is altogether different (Kanner, n.d). For example, when they get pricked, they might show fear of the pain but not the person who pricked him. During his observation to the 11 subjects, one of his patients, Alfred when asked, “What is this picture about?” he replied “People are moving about.” Kanner had stated that Alfred’s behavior had approached characteristic of autism, which is literalness regard to preposition. In his paper, he also shared that autistic children actually developed a phobia of loud noises and moving objects. An injection or gas burner might create them a big grave motional crisis. One of his patients was even afraid to go near the closet in which vacuum cleaner is kept. Besides that, Kanner claimed that autistic children get anxiously obsessive desire for the maintenance of sameness. They cannot tolerate with different setting or sequences once they had experienced in certain setting or sequences. Their insistence on sameness always led them become greatly disturbed upon the sight of anything broken or incomplete.
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