What Is Autism?

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Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social aspects, language, and sometimes repetitive or compulsive behavior and unusual responses to their surroundings. ASD is a disorder that people must learn to deal with for their whole life. Autism is usually found in an individual within the first three years of life, but if the child is on the high functioning side of the spectrum it can not be seen until teenage years. It hinders with the individual’s ability to process what is seen, heard, and touched. This can cause major problems in the person’s behavior as well as the ability to communicate and empathize with others. A person diagnosed with autism struggles to communicate normally and how to have relationships with people, objects and events in their lives.

However, Autism is measured on a spectrum due to variations in the symptoms and severity of the diagnosis. There is a wide array of different symptoms that people with autism can suffer from, which can range from mild communication issues to the inability to speak properly. One or two per 1,000 children struggle with autism. It is four times more common in boys and it occurs in all races and social backgrounds. While a person diagnosed can have symptoms ranging from mild to severe, around 10% show above average excellence in areas such as mathematics, music, memory, or art. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the way the brain processes and responds to information. Some studies have found abnormalities in many parts of the brain. These abnormalities almost always occurred during the time of fetal development. The issue may be centered around the parts of the brain responsible for processing language and information from your senses. Autism appears to have a strong genetic base, though scientist haven’t confirmed it as genetic. Identical twins are more likely to be found on the spectrum than twins that are fraternal.

In a family where there is one autistic child, the chances of those parents having another child that is on the spectrum is about one in twenty. Similarly, when the family does have a child with autism there may be relatives who display the mild behaviors that are similar to the behaviors of the autistic individual in the family. These behaviors could be repetitive behaviors and social or communication difficulties. There may be a link between an abnormal gene and autism. The gene may be just one of three genes that interact in some way to cause the condition. Scientist think that a faulty gene or genes may cause a person to become vulnerable to develop autism in the presence of other factors, such as chemical imbalance, viruses or chemicals, or a lack of oxygen at birth. The severity of ASD varies from person to person, ranging from the most severe, like tantrums or self injuring and aggressive behaviors, to very mild, such as a simple learning or social challenge. Issues with social interactions are the most common symptoms related to autism. Babies with the disorder will not be as cuddly as other babies. They want minimal human contact with anyone.

They may not even smile or lift their arms when being picked up by a parent like a baby without autism would. They may not become close with their parents and may not show any or little anxiety toward people that they do not know. People with autism may not understand childhood games such as peek-a-boo or other games of that nature. In severe cases a child with autism may not speak at all, and if they do, it is often single words. A child with autism may ignore objects or on the contrary, become obsessively attached to them. Many of these people may react to sounds differently as well, doing things such as banging their head or waving fingers in the air.

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