Autism In Pop Culture Essay

917 words - 4 pages

Autism in pop-culture.What ideas occur to you when you hear the word "autism"? Children with Down syndrome? Or, maybe, people that can't live ordinary lives because of their severe illness? What, if the stereotypes that you were always used to, were not entirely true? What if I say that your "spirit animals" from your favorite movies have autism symptoms?First examples of same symptoms were mentioned much earlier than the word "autism" was invented. One of the earliest mentions was described in 18th century, a member of the literature club saw a child in the street that was unconsciously wandering around and behaving in a strange way, the man wrote to his friends from the club, that he was frightened and astonished, he thought that this little boy was possessed by the devil and proposed only one solution - to choke the life from that kid.In 1797 in France, peasants that were working in the fields saw a naked young man who was walking on all fours and moving as an animal in the search of food. His speech was not developed, scars were covering his body and he didn't have eating habits, all these features were pointing to the fact that he was running wild life. Young doctor Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard heard about this and gave a shelter to this boy. Itard named him Victor, and developed a system of teaching this boy. Unfortunately Victor died five years later and his speaking skills were not developed enough to consider this experiment successful. This case was frequently mentioned in the newspapers and got world-renowned. Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itards work became fundamental for future discoveries in the children psychologies.The word "autismus" was worked out by a Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler in the 20th century, when he was describing symptoms of schizophrenia; he faced a problem of how to describe his patients that went deep into their selves and became trapped in their minds. They were of sound mind, but didn't respond to the outer-world.Modern literal meaning of the term "autism" was used by Hans Asperger, during his lecture on children psychology. Unfortunately this word includes many concepts that is why too a great number of stereotypes are still around.In general, Autism is a developmental disability characterized by difficulties and abnormalities in several areas: communication skills, social relationships, cognitive functioning, sensory processing and behaviour. Approximately 10-15% of individuals with autism have average or above average intelligence (including some whose IQs measure in the superior range); 25 - 35% function in the range of borderline to mild mental retardation, while the remainer are moderately to profoundly mentally retarded.Last year, the CDC reported that autism was prevalent in 1 in 88 births in the United States - and as diagnoses have become more common,...

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