Childhood Disorders

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Childhood Disorders

Autism and Children

Abnormal Psychology

Professor Bruce Cameron

July 22, 2007

Abstract: Autism is a brain development disorder that is found in children usually before the age of three. Autism affects children and their “social interactions, impaired communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.” ( The number of children that have been diagnosed with autism is dramatically increasing. Boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism. Signs of autism include visual impairments such as lack of eye contact, speech impairments and limited speech, and restrictive interests and repetitive behavior. Treatment for children with autism includes therapy including behavior therapy, medications, and special education programs.

It has recently made headlines with its startling new statistics. Currently three to six out of every 1,000 children will be diagnosed with Autism. Boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism. ( This startling statistic has been increasing dramatically since the 1980’s. (see graph on page 7) Some protest this is because of more efficient diagnosis and public awareness. Others contend that it is because of vaccines that are given. There is still a lot of information that is still unknown about Autism.

Autism affects the development of the brain. It is developed during infancy or childhood. Most commonly it affects they way children will mature, including their social networks, speech, and motor skills.

Autism is a pervasive disorder; it has four other disorders that are included in its spectrum. The other four include: Aspergers Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Development Disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Autism and Aspergers Syndrome are the most common among the five. The most significant difference between the two is that children...
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