Autism By: Austin Smedsrud & Evan Nelson
What is Autism • Autism is a range of different disorders, which include: social impairments, communication problems, and restricted, repetitive, and certain patterns of behavior. • It is a developmental disability that starts in the human central nervous system. • It typically shows symptoms in children before the age of three.
Autism Spectrum • Autism is one of five disorders known to be neuro – developmental conditions. • These three disorders range somewhat widely in how they show up, and when; but they are all similar in nature. • Autism is often less obvious than the other four disorders in the spectrum.
Autism(Asperger’s Syndrome) • Asperger’s is a type of pervasive developmental disorder. • In involves delays in development of basic skills, such as social skills, communicating with others, and imagination • People with Asperger’s tend to function better than people with autism • They have close to normal intelligence and speech, but tend to have problems communicating with age.
Rett Syndrome • Is a neurodevelopmental disorder of grey matter in the brain which is mostly found in females. • Some symptoms of Rett’s is small hands and feet, as well as deceleration of growth in the head. • Repetitive hand movements, including putting hands in their mouth; and are very prone to having bowel problems • High percentage have seizures almost regularly (80%) • Almost have zero speech skills, as well as scoliosis, and growth failure.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder • Known commonly as Heller’s syndrome. • It is extremely rare; 2 out of every 100,000 kids with autism have this specific disorder. • As the child with Heller’s disease grows older, their skills slowly regress. • When they reach around the age of 10, their motor skills start to regress, as well as their brain activity.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder • It is considered a sub threshold autism • Which means that it is simply a milder case of autism, or the symptoms only show up in one specific area. (i.e. social interaction) • They can be somewhat normal with PDD, but do not quite meet the atypical standards of a normal functioning person.
Early Indicators of Autism • When the child is not mumbling or babbling to themselves, or even pointing by age 1 • No words by a year and a half • A slight decreasing in speech and social skills • Bad eye contact • Constantly arranging toys in lines or specific arrangements • No smiling
Later Indicators of Autism • Not very good at making friends • Can not keep up a conversation with people • Generally do not have much of an imagination • Very particular patterns of focus and intensity • Obsessed with certain subjects or devices • Can not adjust to normal every day routines(i.e. moving houses, changing rooms)
What Causes Autism? • Leading experts are not positive what exactly causes autism, but it is very likely that genetics have a big part of it. • Experiments of a large group of people with autism have shown irregular amounts of serotonin or other neurotransmitters in their brain. • Some studies have shown that these defects in the brain start when the person is just a fetus in their mothers womb.
Does inheritance play a role? • Scientists have said that inheritance can in fact play a role in whether a child is born with autism. • Some times it can be a genetic defective gene that is passed down through the family heritage, and can surface in any generation of the family.
Do Symptoms change over time? • For a good number of kids, treatment and time can help the symptoms decrease slightly • During their teenage years, kids with Autism can have chronic depression, along with behavioral problems • People with autism get better as they get into the middle of their life, but decrease after the prime of their life and start to need more treatment.
How is Autism treated?Educational/Behavior Interventions • Therapists use extremely structured training sessions to help kids with Autism develop social skills • As well as therapy for the child with Autism, parents and normal siblings of these kids are given exercises to help with the process
How is Autism treated?Medications • Physicians will sometimes prescribe medications for Autism related symptoms such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and depression. • Some medicine used for kids with ADD is also used on kids with Autism to help calm them down when they are extremely hyperactive.
Sources • http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detailautism.htm#189013082 • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002494 • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/autism/ • http://www.autism-society.org/about-autism/