Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by impaired development in communication, social interaction and behaviour. Autism is classified as a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), which is part of a broad spectrum of developmental disorders affecting young children and adults—the autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Autism affects about 1 in every 150 children, but no one knows what causes it. Some scientists think that some kids might be more likely to get autism because it or similar disorders run in their families.
Autism is one of the disabilities specifically defined in the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal legislation under which infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities receive early intervention, special education and related services. IDEA defines the disorder as a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.
Autism causes impaired social interaction, communication difficulties, and restricted or repetitive activities and interests. People with autism often exhibit abnormal responses to sensory stimulation (e.g., touch, sound, light), usually have moderate mental retardation, and have a higher risk for developing epilepsy. People who have autism are often taught skills to help them do the things that are difficult for them.
Autistic disorder is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as
Asperger syndrome, the rare condition called Rett syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Boys are 3 times more likely than girls to have autism.
Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviours which are markedly different from those of typical children.
They may seem uninterested in being part of typical activities or playing with other children. Children with autism might have problems talking with you, or they might not look you in the eye when you talk to them. They may have to line up their pencils before they can pay attention, or they may say the same sentence again and again to calm themselves down. Children with autism need a comprehensive evaluation and specialized behavioural and educational programs. Some children with autism may also benefit from treatment with medication.
Children and young people with Asperger syndrome find it very difficult to make friends. However, that does not mean they don't want friends. Children with autism have difficulty interacting with other people, communicating ideas and feelings, and imagining what other people think or feel. Although education is the primary form of treatment for autism, educators are often poorly equipped to deal with these children. Children with Asperger syndrome often lack the ability to modulate the volume of their voice to match their surroundings. For example, they will have to be reminded to talk softly every time they enter a library or a movie theatre.
Children with Asperger syndrome often grow up to be considered an "odd" or "eccentric" adult. However, they can be helped tremendously by treatment with social skills training, parental education and training, behaviour modification and other psychosocial interventions. Children with Asperger's may be only mildly affected and frequently have good language and cognitive skills and may just seem like a normal child behaving differently.
About the author:
I enjoy writing which I feel is fundamentally important if you want to spread your wings on the internet. It can form the basis for any project and give it underlying validity if you write well about something you have taken the time to research and understand.
Thanks for reading...
Published by: John Clokie
More disability articles?
Lázarum is a specialized search engine developed to provide an easy access
to disability information published on the web. With a single click it will seek
in Google, Yahoo, Msn, Altavista and in Our Directory for You.