Autism Spectrum Disorders
All around the world, there are many children and adults that suffer from an autism spectrum disorder. Unluckily, autism is a disorder that is not easily identifiable, especially in children. However, families that are fortunate enough to identify this disorder in children at most have no idea of how to cope with the disability or how to even handle the child. For that reason, it is essential to clarify the misapprehensions most people make and alert them on and how to handle a child that is diagnosed with autism. In 1911, Eugene Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, began using the term “autism”, which stems from the Greek word “autos”, meaning “self.” Bleuler used the term to describe a group of symptoms seem in patients suffering from schizophrenia. Essentially, the term means “isolated self” or a person excluded from social interactions. In the 1940s, researchers in the United States modified the term to describe children who experienced emotional or social problems. Therefore, renouncing the word autism from its connection to schizophrenia. In 1943 Leo Kanner described those with autism as being unable to relate to themselves or others, with the term autism derived from the root auto for self. Since then, autism had been defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, as a pervasive developmental disorder having three classic behavioral features for its diagnosis: "the presence of markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interests" (Snell, 2003). In the mid-1940s, German scientist Hans Asperger described a more mild form of autism, known today as Asperger's disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) and International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) classifications, autism is characterized by impairments in 3 behavioral domains: 1) social interaction; 2) language, communication, and imaginative play; and 3) range of interests and activities. Autism spectrum disorders are severe, incurable developmental disorders whose symptoms, including impairments in social interaction and communication, emerge during the first two years of life. There is no single known cause for autism, but genetic and environmental factors may contribute to its onset. The 5 DSM-IV PDD subtypes are autistic disorder (classic autism), Asperger disorder –language development at the expected age, no mental retardation, disintegrative disorder –behavioral, cognitive, and language regression between ages 2 and 10 years after entirely normal early development, including language, PDD not otherwise specified -individuals who have autistic features and do not fit any of the other subtypes, and Rett disorder –a genetic disorder of postnatal brain development, caused by a single-gene defect predominantly affecting girls. Impairments in the use of nonverbal behaviors such as eye contact, facial expression, body posture, and gestures used for social interaction. Children diagnosed with and ASD also experience failure to develop age-appropriate peer relationships, lack an attempt to share pleasure, activities, interests, or achievements with other people and an inability to respond to social situations or other people's emotions with empathy or a concerned attitude. Communication in those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder proves to be difficult. Some children suffering from ASDs never babble or chuckle and remain mute throughout the duration of their lives, while others don't develop language skills until age’s five to nine. The children and adults that develop language skills often use them in peculiar ways. Some cannot form meaningful sentences and are unable to express themselves, while others cannot participate in give and take conversations. Another symptom that is widely seen is the inability to...
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