What is Autism?
3-4. DSM IV and Axis
5. What are the signs of autism?
5-6. What causes autism?
6-7. What can parents do?
7-8. What is a "Good" educational program for an autistic child?
8-10. How living with a child with autism affects the family
10-11. Different treatments for our children with autisms
What is autism?
Autism, also called autistic disorder, appears in early childhood, usually before age 3 (National Institutes of Health, 2001). Boys are 4 times likely to have autism then girls. Autism is a life-long developmental disorder. Autism prevents children and adolescents from interacting normally with other people, and affects almost every aspect of their social and psychological development. Autism is often referred to as a “spectrum disorder,” meaning that its symptoms and Characteristics can present themselves in a variety of combinations, ranging from mild to quite severe (Geneva Centre for Autism, 2008). Children with autism vary widely in intelligence, from profound mental retardation to superior ability (Mash/Wolfe, 2007). In addition, 70% of children with autism have mental retardation. Of those children, approximately 40% have sever to profound intellectual impairments with IQs less than 50, and 30% have mild to moderate intellectual impairments with IQs between 50 and 70. The remaining 30% have average intelligence or above (Mash/Wolf, 2007) . DSM IV and Axis
The DSM-IV-TR (2000) has identified Autistic Disorder as one disorder under the wider category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders. In the broader category, there are other disorders included such as Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Here is the DSM-IV-TR (2002) certain criteria for Autistic Disorder; 1) qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following: (I) A total of six (or more) items from (A), (B), and (C), with at least two from (A), and one each from (B) and (C) (A) qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following: 1. marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction 2. failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level 3. a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people, (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people) 4. lack of social or emotional reciprocity ( note: in the description, it gives the following as examples: not actively participating in simple social play or games, preferring solitary activities, or involving others in activities only as tools or "mechanical" aids ) (B) qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following: 1. delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternative modes of communication such as gesture or mime) 2. in individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others 3. stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language 4. lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level (C) restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities, as manifested by at least two of the following: 1. encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus 2. apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals 3. stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements) 4. persistent preoccupation with parts...
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