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Mental Disorders: Autism Essay

1762 words - 8 pages

Autism is a mental disorder that can come physical problems such as an inability to interact and communicate with others and potential speech impediments; children diagnoses with Autism, however, can lead successful and fulfilling lives with proper guidance, support, and compassion. Autism can sometimes be described as Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD, just another fancy word for Autism, which are both general terms for complex disorders during brain development (Autism speaks). The disorders can vary between social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors (Autism speaks). Autism appears to develop early in brain development and the main symptoms of Autism tend to happen between 2 and 3 years old (Autism speaks).
Children with Autism may fail to answer to their name and often avoid eye contact with other people. They might have difficulties interpreting what others might be thinking or feeling because they cannot understand social cues such as; tone of voice, facial expressions, and lack of empathy (Autism fact sheet). Children may also engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling, or in self-harming behavior such as head banging and biting (Autism fact sheet). Some children cannot help what they do but some are known to eat items such as dirt, chalk, or paint chips (Autism speaks). Autism is also a wide-spectrum disorder, meaning that no two people will have the same symptoms. Some people will have mild cases of symptoms while others might have severe. Symptoms of early Autism include, poor eye contact, no babbling or pointing by age 1, no response to name, excessive lining up of toys or objects, and no smiling or social responses (Autism fact sheet). Later on, symptoms of Autism can include: absence of social play, restricted patterns of interest, preoccupation with certain objects, unusual use of language, and impaired ability to make friends. Autism is a lifelong birth defect that can have many causes including: genetic problems or syndromes, severe infections that affect brain, and exposure to toxins or illness during pregnancy (American Speech- language-hearing association ).
There is no cure for Autism although one can take therapies and medications to alleviate some symptoms. Autism affects 1 in 88 children, and 1 in 54 boys, and the prevalence figures are still growing (Autism speaks). It is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. Autism would cost a family about 60,000 dollars a year (Autism speaks). One can get educational and behavioral interventions or medications and other kinds of therapies. A study done by parents about therapies best for their children include the following: occupational therapy-39%, speech therapy-27%, ABA therapy-15%, and social skills classes-8% (National Autism Association ). Along with preschool programs, it is critical that interventions take place while the child is young. Risperidone and Aripiprazole are two medicines...

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