Autism Spectrum Disorders (The Constant Battle)

May 20, 2013
By , laurel, MD
Dating back to 1908, children developed and depicted traits of the disorder known as Autism. The term Autism meaning “loneliness”, was coined by an American psychiatrist known as Leo Kanner and in the first years was infantile autism also labeled as “Kanners” Syndrome (Autism 1). In the 1940’s before the term was identified, autistic children were generally associated to schizophrenics. During this time, the classical definition for autism was “a form of childhood schizophrenia characterized by acting out and withdrawal from reality” (Piotrowski 204). The children represented a new and entirely different form of clinical psychiatric disorder, possessing such symptoms. They manifested social withdrawal, extreme autistic aloneness, muteness or failure to communicate with spoken language and an obsessive desire to maintain sameness. Autism Spectrum Disorders is now the umbrella term for several other autistic disorders. This is a neurological disorder that mentally affects ones mental functioning from birth. They are impaired in their social skills, communication, and behavioral traits. Children reveal autistic traits from six months to five years of age. Autism can affect any one despite their race, ethnic or socioeconomic status. There is no particular group or race targeted to develop characteristics of autism. Although by gender, research claims that boys are more likely to become prone to the autism spectrum. Also, Research conducted in 2009 shows that 1 in every 110 children in the U.S are more likely to become affected by the spectrum, and boys are three times more likely than girls to acquire an autism diagnoses. When first signs of Autism characteristics surface, early intervention needs to occur immediately in order ensure that the child’s symptoms do not worsen because when necessary action is taken and treatment is implemented improvements will be evident in the child. Ultimately, the pressure in dealing or coping with a diagnosis can become emotionally draining for parents and this will creates an overwhelming journey, when treatment is not implemented early on or symptoms become worse. As the fastest growing disability in the nation, parents suffer in many ways but the impact of Autism Spectrum Disorders can be alleviated through monitored symptoms, diagnosis, implement treatment interventions, and hands on care by parents.
Each child diagnosed with the Autism Spectrum Disorder has a unique set of symptoms and this is what determines the type of treatment and diagnosis they may receive. Autism affects one’s ability to communicate and convey feelings or express themselves because they may have speech impairment. On the other hand, treatment can help them to develop and learn the basics needed to express convey emotions, thoughts and feelings. Communication helps others to understand, and relate to our feelings but because an autistic child may lack this ability it can become strenuous for parents and siblings to relate or understand moods or messages conveyed. Not every child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder struggles with speech, but they tend to keep to themselves and remove themselves from social settings. They find themselves in their own private world, prefer to maintain same routines or practices and not interact with others in their early stages.
During an interview conducted with a parent, this unusual incident resurfaced and she revealed that her child who currently has Autism was born with no complication. Although he was a couple months premature, he grew and seemed to develop normally. There were no signs or symptoms of abnormal behavior or lack of speech until about three years of age. The young child developed slight speech, but then it eventually faded away. Some children that have Autism engage in obsessive sameness of routines. Autistic children may possess obsessive behavior and preoccupation with a particular object, action or feeling. They are fascinated by particular objects and tend to repeat actions over and over again. For example they line up toys and concentrate on precise objects. Another behavioral trait manifested in children with autism are temper tantrums, they can be aggressive towards themselves and to others, lacking extreme patience (Abnormal Psychology 73). Children with autism tend to keep to themselves, avoid communications, and have unusual sleep patterns. The behavior manifested suggests that the disorder is related to other types of neurologic dysfunction.
Autism Spectrum Disorders are rapidly increasing and in the U.S alone, 1.5 million children are affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder. (Heidi, Saunders Wood 4). This number keeps increasing but there is no current cure for this disorder. Research or medical experiments have not concluded or established a method to prevent one from developing the disorder and lastly the causes are unknown but great speculation and assumptions point several areas, in which children with autism may find challenge or be helpless. Children with autism are vulnerable in their surroundings; especially those that have not developed speech or fail to use spoken language and about half of teenagers diagnosed with this spectrum are possibly bullied (Seaman 1). Children with autism are bullied nearly five times more often than typically developing kids. A study shows that about 46% of autistic children in middle and high school told parents they were victimized at school within the previous year, compared with just over 10% of children in the general population.
Overall, there is much research and analysis that has yet to be done; scientific research has been able to determine the causes and cures for many diseases, viruses and disorders that people may develop. Most people are fortunate and guaranteed to make a full recovery when doctors and specialist are able to narrow down and accurately determine ways to rid them of a medical obstacle they encounter. Even cancer, when seen in its early stages can be cured, but Autism is a disorder that prevails in infants and transforms their path in life. The cure for Autism Spectrum Disorders is unknown because the cause has not yet been determined. This in itself can create an emotional burden and strain for parents, but it is important that when parents recognize signs of unusual behavior in their child, they take the necessary steps from infancy to provide their child with the appropriate treatment. Being educated about the disorder also ensures that parents are knowledgeable and well informed about the diagnoses and treatment their child may receive because the severity of the disorder can be controlled. Despite the situation, medical and educational interventions instilled from childhood will provide a child with Autism, the basic tools and skills needed to succeed.

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