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Transcript of Autism
by Caroline Johnson and
Mary Katherine Austin
History of Autism
Autism has referred to a range of neuropsychological conditions starting in the early 1990’s.
“Autism” comes from the greek word “autos”, meaning self.
This term describes conditions where a person is removed from social interactions.
Eugen Bleuler, a psychiatrist, was the first person to use the term.
He used it in around 1911 to refer to symptoms of schizophrenia
In the 1940’s researches began to use the term autism to describe children with emotional or social problems.
Autism and schizophrenia remained linked in many people’s minds until the 1960s.
From 1960-1970 research for treatments of autism focused on medications such as LSD and electric shock
1980's to now
In the 1980s and 1990s behavioral therapy and the use of controlled learning environments were the main treatment for autism.
Now, the treatments are behavioral therapy and language therapy.
There is still no proven cause of Autism.
Social Interactions and Relationships
Problems developing nonverbal communication skills (eye contact, facial expressions, body posture)
Failure to make friendships with children in the same age group, lack of empathy (understanding the feelings of other people).
Verbal and Nonverbal Communications
Delay or lack of learning to talk (40% of people with autism never speak)
Problems starting and continuing conversations
Repetitive use of language
Difficulty understanding humor and implied meaning of other peoples words
Limited Interests in Activities
Unusual focus on parts of toys (wheels on a car), rather than playing with the whole toy
Fascination with certain topics (video games, trading cards)
A need for routines
Repetitive behavior (body rocking and hand flapping)
Symptoms during childhood
Symptoms are usually noticed during the child’s first 3 years.
Parents sometimes become concerned when their child does not like to be held, is not interested in playing with other children, or does not begin to talk at the normal age.
Sometimes a child starts to talk at a normal age, then loses his or hers language skills.
Symptoms during teen years
Teens gain some skills, but still lack the ability to relate and understand others
Teens are at an increased risk for developing depression, anxiety, and epilepsy.
Symptoms in adults
Adults with autism need a lot of assistance
Adults with high-functioning autism are often very successful in their jobs and live independently, but they often still have difficulty understanding others.
10% of people with autism have some sort of special skill or gifts (memorizing lists, calculating calendar dates, drawing, or musical ability)
Unusual sensory perceptions- they may describe a light touch as painful or a deep pressure as a calming feeling, others may not feel pain
Sleep problems occur in about 40-70% of people with Autism
Beginning autism intervention early is best.
There is no vaccine to prevent autism.
Each case has to be approached differently
Gluten free diets, sensitivity to food choices, vitamin supplements, and thyroid supplementation helps regulate autism.
ABA: applied behavioral analysis
Lovaas Model- facilitated and planned social interactions with more than one to one interactions.
Early Start Denver Model- children ages 12-48 months practice basic skills.
Children's behavior in this treatment is documented.
Focus of treatment: social skills, language and communication, imitation, play skills, daily living, and motor skills
Early behavioral intervention often includes entire family
Usually includes physician, speech pathologist, and occupational therapist
Services are provided to help those diagnosed with autism in transitions of life.
They aid the autistic to be independent and prepare for possible employment
Activities such as music and art allow expression
Interaction with animals promotes confidence, well-being, and sensory development.
Only 56% of diagnosed complete high school
Some do go on to live independent lives
Person reaches the normal range for IQ, language adaptive functioning, school placement, and personality
Small symptoms of autism still remain
As they develop some grow out of the autism spectrum disorder
Often diagnosed with ADHD after moving out of autism spectrum disorder
Quality of life depends on support through life changes and childhood foundations
"Autism is a developmental disorder that typically appears before a child reaches the age of 3. Autism affects the development of a child's brain, resulting in impaired social functioning, interactions with others, and communication."
Possible genetic element because autism tends to run in families.
1 in 88 children are diagnosed with autism.
Autism occurs in all racial and ethnic groups.
Autism is almost 5 times more common in boys than in girls
Non autistic people use there prefrontal cortex for visual perception and planning
Autistic use visual regions to accomplish higher order thinking skills
Physiological Abnormalities often associated with autism:
overactive brain wave activity
late pruning of neurons
abnormal amounts of serotonin