In a high school, everyone is aware of the special needs kids but the students never take the time to get to know them. In my psychology class we had the opportunity to. Our teacher assigned us the Peer Support/ Research project. In the project we were allowed to choose a buddy who has special needs and were required to research their specific needs as well as spend time with our buddy. I chose my buddy to be a kid named Jared. Jared has autism. There were two reasons I chose Jared. One, he was one of the special needs students that I did not know personally yet. Two, I was interested in learning more about autism, a disorder that remains a mystery to most people.
Autism is a complex brain disorder that often inhibits a person's ability to communicate, respond to surroundings, and form relationships with others (NAAR, 2005). The severity and symptoms of autism vary in each individual. This is why autism is considered a spectrum disorder. Currently there are five recognized autism spectrums. They are autistic disorder, asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, rett syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (NAAR, 2005).
Autistic disorder is also known as "classic autism" (NAAR, 2005). It affects a person's ability to communicate, form relationships, and respond appropriately to their environment (NAAR, 2005). Some people with autistic disorder are highly functioning. They have the ability to speak and interact with others, while others with autistic disorder are more affected and/or mentally retarded (NAAR, 2005).
Asperger syndrome differs from autism disorder in that individuals do not have delay in spoken language development (NAAR, 2005). They do, however, have difficulties in social and communication skills (NAAR, 2005). These people are often obsessive and are very repetitive with routines.
Childhood disintegrative disorder is also known as... [continues]
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