Central Community College
06 December 2012
Autism: A Disorder That Is Becoming More Common
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) now affects 1.13% which is 1 of 88 American children” (Landrigan et al, 2012). Autism is a neurological disorder that affects lives of many children and adults. Some have a mild affect and some are very impaired to the point that they can not talk. Studies have shown that it is more common in boys than it is in girls (Klein, 2007). In 1943, Leo Kanner, a child psychiatrist, was the first to identify autism. He believed that his young patients were in their own inner world (Ballaro, 2011). Autism has a wide variety of symptoms, causes, and treatments. As there is no known cause and cure there are many things parents can do to lessen the severity of the symptoms. It is getting diagnosed at an earlier age due to increased public awareness which helps treatments start earlier and symptoms to be less severe. Symptoms of autism has such a wide range of severity, from not visible symptoms to very severe symptoms. If you have autism you may have trouble communicating, socially interacting with others, or have unusual behaviors and interests (Klein). Symptoms can start earlier than three and continue into adulthood. According to Billstedt et al, “Over 60% of individuals diagnosed with Autistic Disorder (AD) in children are noted to have relatively poor outcomes in adulthood” (qtd. in Fodstad et al, 2010). Symptoms of autism are easily mistaken, you must have accurate assessments done before you label someone with autism. There are three common types of autism, defined by the most severe to less severe. The most severe is the autistic disorder, also known as classic autism. Where “there may be an inability to speak and lower intelligence; difficulty expressing needs: poor eye contact; and repetitive behavior such as hand flapping, among other symptoms” (Klein). Another form of autism is asperger's syndrome. “The same range of intelligence and verbal skills as unaffected people, but trouble with communication and social interaction” (Klein). Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified is another form of autism. Symptoms include little communication or social problems and some autistic disorder symptoms (Klein). In 2009, researchers also found that autistic children did not know the difference between biological and nonliving objects. That's why they watch people's mouths instead of their eyes. Autistic children interact with nonliving objects because they have fewer facial expressions and are easier to follow (Ballaro). According to Steyn and Le Couteur they also form phobias, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD), and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders (ADHD; qtd. in Hess et al). Autistic children do not have much attention because they are fixated on specific topics and objects. They also can have anxiety due to the lack of routine in their environment for example they even like to have the same foods, otherwise they refuse to eat. Forming a depressive disorder is not uncommon in people who are aware that they are autistic (Hess et al, 2010). Not only are the children with the autistic disorder affected, their families are too. The parents or siblings must deal with the behaviors on a daily basis (Bodfish et al, 2011). As you can see, there are many symptoms one can have, some may have several and some only one. According to Hollander “Some individuals can be in the genius category, and other individuals can be severely mentally retarded” (qtd. in Klein). Symptoms and studies have lead people to believe many different reasons of why children develop autism. In the 1970's, it was believed that it was a result of bad parenting because there was a lack of affection formed between the parents and children (Ballaro)....