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Savant Autism And Asperger’s Syndrome In Children And Adults

1765 words - 7 pages

Autism is a neurological abnormality that affects many different people in a number of ways. There are no symptoms that specifically define the disorder, but there are so many different symptoms that it is hard to diagnose. Sometimes the disorder can be so severe, that the person has a hard time functioning in society normally, but sometimes they can be mild, causing only some social complications for the person. Asperger’s, a milder case of autism, can sometimes have symptoms that are not so severe, causing the person to appear almost normal. Savant syndrome is people who have more severe symptoms, but have extraordinary talents. In popular culture, the end of the spectrum is shown, such as in the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time written by Mark Haddon, and the movie Rain Man. The characters Christopher and Raymond help to paint a picture of Savant autism and Asperger’s with their similarities and differences.
There is no way to official way to diagnose children with autism. “Professionals who specialize in autism—child psychiatrists, child psychologists, developmental pediatricians, and pediatric neurologists—will observe the child's behavior, social contacts, and communication skills. They will assess mental and social skills and develop a detailed history of the child's behavior. Some doctors ask parents to bring in videotapes of the child at home. Photo albums and other records may help in identifying time sequences.” (Polsdofer, “Diagnosis of Autism”). This is why in the first 36 months of life, children are screened and go for routine well visits, to make sure they are hitting all of the typical milestones. Even though they may appear to be fine as a child, the symptoms of their condition may not come until later in life. In many families there is usually a pattern of autism, or other disabilities, but there is no one gene found that has been the cause of autism.
Christopher from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a 15-year-old boy living with Asperger’s syndrome. “Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects a person's ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Children with Asperger's syndrome typically exhibit social awkwardness and an all-absorbing interest in specific topics.” (Harms, “Asperger’s Syndrome”). Some of the symptoms that go along with this condition are deficits in social skills. In the novel Christopher has a hard time recognizing different feelings and is unable to express them. His teacher, Siobhan, tries to teach him how to use different emotions and how to recognize them by drawing the faces people make when they are feeling different things. He also cannot emphasize with someone if they are feeling angry or upset, because he cannot understand the reason. An example of this is when he founds out that the mother he thinks is dead had an affair. He does not feel upset about learning about this because he believes that his mother is dead,...

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