Autism. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS. Autism in IDEA. Autism is defined under IDEA as
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a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, usually evident before age 3 that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.”
an increasingly popular term that refers to a broad definition of autism including the classical form of the disorder as well as closely related disabilities that share many of the core characteristics.
(5) Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, which refers to children whose development appears normal for the first few years, but then regresses with the loss of speech and other skillsuntil the characteristics of autism are conspicuous
Increased public recognition of the disorder is also likely to have contributed to the apparent epidemic. As parents and doctors have become more familiar with the disease, the chances that they will identify potential cases and refer them to psychiatrists have increased.
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 the brain
He described the cases of 12 children who appeared to be developing normally until they received their MMR shot between the ages of 15 and 18 months. Soon after, the children developed a kind of inflammatory bowel disease, began losing basic speech and social skills, and were subsequently diagnosed with autism.
Subsequent studies have failed to find a link between MMR and autism12-14. On closer analysis, the data from several parts of the world show that the rise in autism actually started before MMR, Rutter explains.
But just as the MMR controversy is dying down, another potential vaccine-related cause for autism has been highlighted. Many vaccines use a mercury-containing preservative called thiomersal. Fears that vaccinations may be exposing children to dangerous levels of mercury have led the US Institute of Medicine to schedule a meeting for next month to discuss possible links between thiomersal and autism.
One study found that if one identical twin has autism, the other twin has a 60% chance of developing the condition, and a 92% chance of having a condition within the DSM's spectrum of related disorders.
But the fact that the identical twin of a child with autism may not develop the condition suggests that environmental factors are also involved. Mutations to one or more autism genes may, for instance, increase a child's vulnerability to an unknown environmental trigger encountered during early infancy or in the womb.
Classic autism is the best known subtype of this disorder (PDD) and involves severe qualitative deficits in social interaction, language communication and play and is associated with stereotypic and perseverative behavior.
Symptoms include delayed or absence of speech, the inability to appropriately relate to others, repetitive movements, such as hand flapping, and an insistence of a routine.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder: Not otherwise specified - (commonly referred to as atypical autism) a diagnosis of PDD-NOS may be made when a child does not meet the criteria for a specific diagnosis, but there is severe and pervasive impairment in specified behaviors.