The neural development disorder that are characterized by impaired communication, repetitive and restrictive behavior, and social interaction is known as Autism. Normally the symptoms of Autism or the disorder’s warning signs begin before the child has reached three years of age. The disorder affects the processing of information in the brain because it changes how a person’s nerve cells and their synapses connect with one another and then organize themselves. Unfortunately, the way in which this occurs is not understood.
In the Autism Spectrum, Autism is one of the three disorders that it covers. Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) are the other two that are components of the spectrum. PDD-NOS is typically diagnosed when the characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism are not present. Although the genetics involved in Autism are extremely complex in nature, it isn’t clear as to whether or not Autism Spectrum Disorders are rare mutations or rare combinations of genetic variations.
In rare occurrences, the symptoms of Autism are strongly related to genetic agents that are responsible for birth defects. Additionally, there are numerous controversies that surround environmental issues including childhood vaccines, heavy metals, and pesticides. Interestingly enough, the hypothesis regarding the vaccine issue is biologically implausible and lacks any psychological or scientific evidence. In recent reports published by the CDC, they estimate that roughly 1 out of every 100 children have the symptoms of Autism.
Since the 1980’s when Autism became a common concern of the medical and psychological communities, the increase in the number of diagnoses of the disorder have increased exponentially. Naturally, this is due in part to changes and updates where current diagnostic practices are concerned. However, whether or not it can be considered prevalent in US society is the source of numerous debates. What is known for sure is that parents typically notice the symptoms of Autism within the first two years of the child’s life.
The symptoms of Autism will vary greatly from one individual to the next. However, there are specific core symptoms that every individual who is suffering with autism have in common. These include:
Limited interests in normal activities or the way in which they play – a need for an established routine, an unusual focus on certain objects or toys, and the preoccupation of specific topics or subject matter
Non-verbal and verbal communication – delay in or a lack of learning how to talk, difficulty understanding the perspective of those listening to them, problems engaging in meaningful conversation, and a repetitive or stereotyped use of language
Social interaction and relationships – failure to establish friendships or relationships with their peers; lack of empathy; lack of interest where sharing achievements, enjoyment, or interests with others is concerned
As a parent, you need to be compiling a list of any unusual behavior while observing your child on a regular basis if you are concerned that they are showing the symptoms of Autism mentioned above. In so doing, when you discuss these issues with your child’s pediatrician, family physician, or are referred by either to a specialist to determine if Autism is present, this will help considerably.
For the latest videos and training information on child development as well as books and curricula on Autism please visit childdevelopmentmedia.com.
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