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There are many different genetic disorders that can affect individuals over the course of their life and autism is one of them. The goal of this article is to provide a brief overview of what is autism including a look at signs of autism, autism symptoms, Characteristics for Autism and a look at how to deal with children with autism. This article should be considered only as a starting point for those who are looking to be come more involved in Autism Education or who are perhaps in need of an Autism Symptoms Checklist. Autism Research is something that is ongoing and as such there will always be the need to update ones information on this complex genetic disorder. In general one should consider articles of this sort as part of a broader goal of consulting as many reputable education resources on the subject as possible. However, should you require immediate medical advice or attention it is always recommended that you contact a certified, trained, qualified and licensed health care professional such as your family physician.
In general, autism is a disorder of the brain that can cause a number of development difficulties, particularly in the areas surrounding interaction with others and this includes linguistic difficulties related to communication and a general difficulty dealing with others on a social level. It should be noted that in all cases of autism there is no possibility of a cure as a result of the genetic and development nature of this disorder. As a result the best that can be hoped for individuals who have autism is that the difficulties that are caused by it can be effectively managed in order to live a functional and progressive life.
According to the Mayo Clinic three to six of every one thousand kids have autism and due to improvements in diagnostic criteria and capability, this number within the United States as increased in recent years. In addition, autism is far more likely to occur in boys than in girls by a ration of one to four, although in all cases the individual severity of the disorder varies based upon the afflicted individual’s particular experience of autism.
Given that autism is a genetic disorder that affects the developmental process it should not be completely unexpected that Child Autism is the area that is most concerned with the diagnosis of this genetic disorder. Around the age of three years old the characteristic difficulties in communicating with others begin to become apparent. The following symptoms according to the Mayo Clinic can be divided up into categories of social skills, language and behavior. Difficulties with social skills can be characterised by a desire to play on one’s own, being unaware of the feelings of others and resisting being held. At times autistic children will have difficulty making eye contact, will appear to be unable to hear at times when being called upon and generally seem to retreat into their own world. Language difficulties are characterised by a slow development of speaking ability, an inability to maintain a conversation, the repetition of words or phrases, the use of an abnormal rhythm in a speaking voice and the inability to make eye contact. In addition, children with autism may exhibit the loss of a prior ability to say words or sentences that they once knew. The diagnostic criteria for autism also include a number of characteristic behavioral traits such as the performance of movements that are repetitive, which include spinning the flapping of the hands or a rocking. Children with autism are generally sensitive to stimuli, are constantly moving and easily fascinated by object. In addition they are characteristically draw to extremely specific routines and ritualised behavior and any disruption of these behaviors will tend to make the child quite irritable.
There are also, as has been mentioned, a number of developmental difficulties that children with autism will suffer that are basically surrounding social developmental skills. Some children will have relatively minor impairment of linguistic or social skills while others will have an experience of steadily worsening language and social skills as they mature and progress through adolescence. In addition, there is a general tendency for children with autism to be very intelligent, though frustratingly, their communicative shortcomings make them relatively unable to communicate this intelligence in their area in an effective manner.
As previously mentioned it is currently thought that autism is genetic in nature and as such autistic children may also have a higher risk of other disorders such as epilepsy or Tourett’s syndrome or mental retardation. However, at this time it generally unknown what the single genetic cause of autism is or if in fact autism is caused by a complex interrelation of causes which may be all or in part genetic in nature. As research continues to study autism it is hoped that the cause will be discovered in order that we might better understand this particular disorder.
As mentioned before, the genetic nature of autism means that there is no cure and the variability of the experience of the disease means that there is no set treatment for it. However, in general the way in which the symptoms of autism are treated is through what is often some combination of pharmaceutical and therapeutic regimens. The social and communicative difficulties associated with autism can be bettered in some cases by focussing on the improvement of those skills in order to ensure that the child later in life will be able to effectively communicate and socialize with others. In severe cases of autism drug therapies are sometimes used to control symptomatic behaviors such as hyperactivity, or if there are overly repetitive or aggressive behavior that needs to be remedied antipsychotic medications may be prescribed.
In general, therapeutic options might also be considered for families with autistic children as it is important that those individuals who are raising an autistic child have a strong network of support in order to ensure that they are able to raise the autistic child with as much attention to the special needs of such child as may be required.