Life-Span Development

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Life-Span Development Portfolio
Bianca N. Estrada
PSYCH 500/Life-Span Development
November 22, 2010
Dr. Vong Rathsachack

In the attempt to rationalize the differences in human behaviors, research has offered insights that help guide in the quest for understanding. There are a multitude of factors that impact individuals of all ages throughout the course of life. Individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics all influence individual perspectives, perceptions, behaviors, and developmental aspects.

Lifespan Development
Throughout life we experience life issues that we must all handle in different ways. In the following you will learn about different children and adults who have experienced life development issues that have to deal with DSM IV diagnoses, step-families, retirement, and the loss of a loved one. Biological and Physiological Development and Autism

Autism is a “lifelong, neurobiological condition that significantly affects how a person perceives the world, interacts with other people and communication” (What is Autism, 2003). Autism is said to cause significant impairments in areas including, but not limited to language and cognitive development, communication processes, social interaction, sensory processing, nutrition, agility and psychological well-being. Research has revealed that while the cause of Autism is unclear it is estimated that more that 90% of the cause is due to genetics, (Klauck, 2006) “no known psychological factors in the development of the child have been shown to cause autism” (What is Autism, 2003). Discussion

Joe is a ten year old boy who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder. The interview was performed in the familiar setting of Joe’s home in the presence of his mother. In the attempt to effectively communicate with Joe the questions were frequently reworded. The interview had to be broken up into 2 separate meetings due to Joe’s short attention span. Through the entirety of both interviews Joe seems as though he was not paying attention to me and played with a model of the human heart. When asked the meaning of Autism, there was a pause in the fixation of the model heart long enough for Joe to say “I thought that’s why you are here so then why don’t you already know? That’s not normal you know.” Following unexplained laughter, Joe then explained that Autism is a term used by doctors to explain why some people talk, move, listen, feel, hear, learn and act differently that most people do. Joe used his hands to touch related body parts. For example, Joe touched his skin when he said the word feel, he waved his hand by his ear and eye when he said the word hear and he picked up the model heart when he said the word learn. Due to the considerable amount of time it took for Joe’s mother to calm him down after the laughter outburst, the only other “request for information”, as Joe refers to it, at the first meeting was for an explanation of Joe’s previous response. After a bit of confusion and a few redirections, Joe explained that Autism is easy to understand. He then explained how he hears a lot of noises all the time, and he feels other people’s energy. Interestingly, Joe used music as an analogy to give explanation for these differences in the way that his brain and body work. He turned a song on and proceeded to use the way that he hears music an analogy. He stated that some people hear the song and some people hear the words and the song, but he hears the song, the instruments, the people, the notes, and the difference in the quality of speakers. When his mother asked him what the song was about Joe replied with a snide chuckle and stated that he doesn’t really know but probably somebody loving somebody else. After...
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