What is Autism exactly-I have an autistic sister?
I would like to understand her situation better. I don’t live with her so when ever I do see her (which is like maybe once every 5 months, if that) she’s a little hard to handle. She’s very hyper. And she’s got more problems other than just autism.
But what is autism exactly? I just want to understand my baby sister more.
Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviors which are markedly different from those of typical children. Less severe cases may be diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or with Asperger’s Syndrome (these children typically have normal speech, but they have many “autistic” social and behavioral problems).
It used to be thought that autism is just a fate that you accept.The good news is that there are now a wide variety of treatment options which can be very helpful. Some treatments may lead to great improvement, and others may have little or no effect, but a good starting point would be the parent ratings of biomedical interventions, which presents the responses of over 25,000 parents in showing the effectiveness of various interventions on their own child.
ARI’s Diagnostic Checklist, Form E-2, was developed by Dr. Bernard Rimland to diagnose children with Kanner’s syndrome (which is also known as ‘classical autism’). Many parents and professionals have also used the E-2 checklist to assist in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). You can print out, complete the checklist, and then mail it to ARI for scoring. Our staff will analyze the responses and send you a score along with an interpretation. The checklist is available in 17 different languages. There is no charge for this service.
How Common is it? For many years autism was rare – occurring in just five children per 10,000 live births. However, since the early 1990’s, the rate of autism has increased exponentially around the world with figures as high as 60 per 10,000. Boys outnumber girls four to one. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism.
What is the Outlook? Age at intervention has a direct impact on outcome–typically, the earlier a child is treated, the better the prognosis will be. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the percentage of children who can attend school in a typical classroom and live semi-independently in community settings. However, the majority of autistic persons remain impaired in their ability to communicate and socialize.
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