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Autism

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 Understand Autism

 

Autism is a term that refers to a collection of developmental disorders that affect the brain. This brain disorder  affects a person’s ability to communicate, form relationships with others, and respond appropriately to the external world. People with autism have a tendency to have repetitive behaviors or interests and rigid patterns of thinking.


The severity of autism varies greatly. Some people with autism can function at a relatively high level, with speech and intelligence intact. Others have serious cognitive impairments and language delays; some never speak.

 

Contents

1. Introduction

 2. What is autism?

 3. What are the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)?

 4. What is Asperger syndrome?

5. How can you tell autism from Asperger syndrome?

 6. Diagnosing autism

 7. Autism crisis

 8. Autism therapies and treatments

 9. Medication and the treatment of the autism

 10. Alternative treatment for autism

11. Programs

 12. Caring for your child after you`re gone

 13. Education of autistic children

 14. Living with autism

15. Stress

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1. Introduction

 A real story

Six years ago, after several months of visiting several medical specialists and undergoing blood tests, CTs, EEGs, and audiograms, a neurologist finally diagnosed his only son, A., with autism.

At first he didn’t believe the doctor who made the diagnosis. Clearly, he thought, this doctor was incompetent.

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2. What is autism?

 Autism is a term that refers to a collection of developmental disorders that affect the brain. This brain disorder  affects a person’s ability to communicate, form relationships with others, and respond appropriately to the external world. People with autism have a tendency to have repetitive behaviors or interests and rigid patterns of thinking. The severity of autism varies greatly. Some people with autism can function at a relatively high level, with speech and intelligence intact. Others have serious cognitive impairments and language delays; some never speak.

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3. What are the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)?

Autism is one of a spectrum of five related neurological and developmental disorders called pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) or autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

This group of disorders includes:

1. Autism- A severe form of ASD

2. Pervasive developmental disorder - not otherwise specified (PDD–NOS) - A diagnosis made when a child has symptoms of either of autism or Asperger’s syndrome, but does not meet the specific criteria for either of them

3. Asperger’s syndrome - A milder form of ASD

4. Rett syndrome - A rare, very severe neurological disorder that occurs more commonly in females

5. Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) – A rare and severe developmental disorder

This group of developmental disabilities is caused by one or more unknown abnormalities in the brain. All these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.

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4. What is Asperger syndrome?

Asperger syndrome (or Asperger disorder) is a neurological disorder that may be part of the autistic spectrum of disorders. Children with Asperger syndrome have characteristic behaviors that can cause disabilities that range from mild to severe. Asperger syndrome is sometimes referred to as high-functioning autism (HFA) and was named for a Viennese physician, Hans Asperger. Dr. Asperger published a paper in 1944, which described a pattern of behaviors in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development, but who also exhibited autistic-like behaviors and marked deficiencies in social and communication skills. In spite of the publication of his paper in the 1940s, it wasn’t until 1994 that Asperger syndrome was added to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and only in the past few years has AS been recognized by professionals and parents.

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