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Autism, a spectrum disorder, is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first two years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder

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Autism Shauntay McCrea Professor Palma Psychology November 30, 2010 Autism, a spectrum disorder, is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first two years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills (autism-society.org). The signs and symptoms of autism may differ from one person to another but according to webmd.com all people with autism have some core symptoms in the areas listed below: Social interactions and relationships. Symptoms may include: 1. Significant problems developing nonverbal communication skills, such as eye-to-eye gazing, facial expressions, and body posture. 2. Failure to establish friendships with children the same age. 3. Lack of interest in sharing enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people. 4. Lack of empathy. People with autism may have difficulty understanding another person's feelings, such as pain or sorrow. Verbal and nonverbal communication. Symptoms may include: 1. Delay in, or lack of, learning to talk. As many as 40% of people with autism never speak.1 2. ...read more.


Lisa Jo Rudy wrote an article for about.autism.com ?What Causes Autism?? She considers the question to be an argumentative subject. Over the years there have been many theories as to what cause autism. Two of these theories say that vaccines, such as, the Mumps-Measles-Rubella vaccine could be a cause of ?intestinal problems? that lead to autism developing in a person. Another theory is that Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, could be a link to autism. Other studies have shown that parents who come from families with a history of autism are likely to have an autistic child, therefore making it genetic. Dr. Kanner, the doctor ?who first identified autism as a unique condition? suggested that autism was caused by bad parenting. He was proven wrong. Lisa Jo Rudy?s article also provided that autistic individuals have bigger brains and process information differently, so this disorder may be caused by ?Atypical Brain Development.? Three other causes that are also discussed in her article are, Immune Deficiency Problem, Food Allergies, and Poor nutrition (about.autsim.com). Being that there are so many ideas on how autism is caused researchers will continue to study this disorder until they can find an accurate cause. ...read more.


Dietary modifications are basically just used to improve digestion and eliminate food allergies and/or intolerances that may cause behavioral problems. People with autism have normal life expectancies, but will more than likely require assistance throughout their life (neurologychannel.com). Unfortunately this help does not come cheap. Lisa Jo Rudy says in her blog ?How Much Money Is Enough to Cover Costs of Autism Treatment? that the cost of proper treatment can go up to about $70,000 a year. That cost does not include the price of therapy and education (about.autism.com). The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development states that researchers do not know the exact number of people with ASD, but based on studies they figure the estimate is that one in every 1,000 children has some form of ASD. NICHD provides funding for research and training on topics related to this mission. Researching this topic has taught me more than I knew from my personal experience of dealing with my autistic cousin. I didn?t know the full extent as to what this disorder causes and it makes me sympathize more with my cousin and others like him. There is still much more information to be discovered and when it is I will be glad to research it further. ...read more.

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