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Uploaded by vern033 on Nov 05, 2001

What is Autism?

“Autism affects more than 400,000 Americans, between 10 and 20 of ever 10,000 people in the United States” (Mayo). Autism is a developmental disability of the brain, much like dyslexia or attention deficit disorder. Autism is not a form of mental retardation, and though many autistic people act like they are retarded, but a lot of times they are very intelligent. People need to be aware of what is, what causes it, who it is diagnosed, what people with autism are like, is there more than one type of autism, and what are the most effective approaches.

“Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life” (Yahoo). The result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, autism and its associated behaviors have been estimated to occur in as many as 1 in 500 individuals. “Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than girls and knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries” (Edelson). “Family income, lifestyle, and educational levels do not affect the chance of autism’s occurrence” (Yahoo).

“Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills” (Yahoo). Children and adults with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. The disorder makes it hard for them to communicate with others and relate to the outside world. In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior may be present. Persons with autism may exhibit repeated body movements (hand flapping, rocking), unusual responses to people or attachments to objects and resistance to changes in routines. “Individuals may also experience sensitivities in the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste (Yahoo).

Over one half million people in the U.S. today have autism or some form of pervasive developmental disorder (Edelson). Its prevalence rate makes autism one of the most common developmental disabilities. Yet most of the public, including many professionals in the medical, educational, and vocational fields, are still unaware of how autism affects people and how they can effectively work with individuals with autism.

Researchers from all over the world are devoting considerable time and energy into finding the answer to this critical question. Medical researchers are exploring different explanations for the various forms of autism. “Although a single specific cause of autism is not known, current research links autism to biological or neurological differences in...

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Uploaded by:   vern033

Date:   11/05/2001

Category:   Science And Technology

Length:   14 pages (3,165 words)

Views:   3319

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