What It's Like To Be Autistic

1854 words - 7 pages

What's it like to be Autistic?Tell me teacher...Can you catch a rainbow in a piece of ice?Catch light refraction between your fingers?Map the acoustics of every type of plastic, metal and glass?Know the 'voices' of every electrical appliance by its make?Ever seen the mathematical variation of patternsOf a flicked piece of string? (2004, p. 24)In the poem entitled Teacher above, Donna Williams is expressing how diverse and peculiar traits of Autism can be, especially sensory processing issues as well as striving for understanding from her educators. Many adolescents and adults having an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) whom have written biographies of their lives describe their experiences in living with Autism along the path of sensory processing issues whether it be having an oversensitivity or undersensitivity to things or experiencing some type of integration problem. Being Autistic anywhere on the spectrum implies having a myriad of symptoms affecting sensory processing, communication, social relationships and imagination as stated by Gould and Wing (1979) and Hoy (2007) among others. This paper intends to explore the differences of ASD symptoms through evaluating what are considered the core impairments and assessing the weight and severity of sensory processing issues through the eyes of people with ASD and how it ranks as a core deficit.Clinically, Autism was initially originated individually by Leo Kanner (1943)and Hans Asperger (Frith, 2003) respectively in the 1940's. From there came Kanner's early development of his concept "infantile autism". (Fitzgerald and Lyons, 2007, p.2022) Both physicians commented on similar features their samples of children had including idiosyncratic bizarre fascinations, obsessively enjoying routines, poor eye contact, social retreat, distinct opposition to change and having isolated special interests. (Happe, 1999, p.11)In 1979, Gould and Wing suggested there was a way to explain Autism in a broader mode naming three categories of impairments including "social interaction, repetitive activities in place of imaginative symbolic interests, and impairment of language development". (p.26) They had said the "triad of impairments" (Happe, 1999, p.34) are the central deficits of Autism. There is recent commentary however, that what may be desired is a new look at what impairments are on the triad and if more than one conceptual triad is needed.Ashwin et al., suggest that because of a relatively recent change in research strategy, a dual triad consisting of the core characteristics of ASD building upon the research of Gould and Wing's triad idea is needed, to address the three subgroups of the disorder; low functioning (LF), medium functioning (MF) and high functioning (HF) in relation to cognitive theory. (2005) The core features of the dual triad are separated into the following sections, "Triad A" including the traits of "social difficulties, communication difficulties, and difficulties in imaging other...

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