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A Brief History Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

1683 words - 7 pages

Autism was first presented in 1943 by Leo Kanner when he was conducting a several children study; he later described the children as having withdrawn behaviour. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the suitable treatments used in behavioural therapy were focused on medications such as LSD and electrical shock as a form of pain and punishment (WebMD Medical Reference, 2014).
Tens of millions of people have been diagnosed with Autism worldwide, effecting both genders, all races, ethnicities and people from all socioeconomic classes. In 2010 a Surveillance Summary was conducted in the United States, where it identified that one in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism (Centers for Disease Control ...view middle of the document...

This lifelong developmental disability is characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped pattern of behaviour (National Institue of Mental Health, Unknown).
Signs of Autism are initially presented in the first 18 months, however 24-40% of cases regress between 18-24 months of age. The characteristics found among ASD are behavioural, social interaction and communication; overall these are commonly noted by a majority of people, yet not necessarily by all.
To maintain a certainty and predictability of behaviours exhibited, it is recommended to stick to a routine and spend time in their repetitive behaviours. Other behaviours which are commonly presented are unusually intense or focused interests, repetitive stereotyped body movements, and the repetitive use of objects, insisting on sticking to routines, unusual sensory interests, sensory sensitivities and intellectual impairment or learning difficulties.
People with Autism are presented with difficulties with social interactions, in particular, establishing and maintaining relationships. There is a lack of responsiveness to non-verbal forms of communications, like facial expressions, physical gestures and eye contact. Often, they are unable to fully express needs due to being unable to interpret and understand others needs. These lack of social interactions effect their ability to share others interests and activities, which gives the appearance that they are socially distant. The cause of their inability to understand non-verbal forms of communication which causes them to become withdrawn socially; is due to a delay in speech.
Ways in which social interactions are seen to be different and more difficult to people with Autism, are their limited use and understanding of non-verbal communication, difficulties in forming and sustaining friendships, a lack of seeking to share enjoyment, interests and activities with other people and difficulties with social and emotional responsiveness.
A variety of forms of communication difficulties are seen in all Autistic people, yet the severity is varied with the use of language being limited and unusually used. Some have the ability to speak fluently whilst others speech is impaired and even fully undeveloped. Some may involve the repetition of phrases and words asked or said to them and overall topics which are commonly incorporated into their usual conversations are about what interest them.
Another difficulties in communication, is the interpretation of non verbal communication, like facial expressions, hand gestures and other body language. It is overall characterised by a delay in their language development, difficulties initiating and sustaining conversations, and stereotyped and repetitive use of language.
Currently there are no medical tests which can identify Autism, instead there are a list of questions used to identify whether or not a person has Autism, and if so the level and...

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