Thesis Paper On Autism

2837 words - 11 pages

What is autism?Autism is a complex developmental disability that causes problems with social interaction and communication. Autism causes children to experience the world differently from the way most other children do. It is hard for children with autism to talk with other people and express themselves using words. Children who have autism usually keep to themselves and many can't communicate without special help.They may also react to what is going on around them in unusual ways. Normal sounds may really bother someone with autism - so much so that they may cover his or her ears. Being touched, even in a gentle way, may feel uncomfortable.Children with autism often can not make connections that other kids make easily. For example, when someone smiles, you know the smiling person is happy or being friendly. But a child with autism may have trouble connecting that smile with the person's happy feelings.A child who has autism may also have trouble linking words to their meanings. Imagine trying to understand what your mom is saying if you didn't know what her words really mean. It is twice as frustrating if the child can not come up with the right words to express his or her own thoughts.Autism causes children to act in abnormal ways. They might flap their hands, say certain words over and over, have temper tantrums, or play only with one particular toy. Most children with autism do not like changes in routines. They like to stay on a schedule that is always the same. They also may insist that their toys or other objects be arranged a certain way and get upset if these items are moved or disturbed.If someone has autism, his or her brain has trouble with an important job: making sense of the world. Every day, your brain interprets the sights, sounds, smells, and other sensations that you experience. If your brain could not help you understand these things, you would have trouble functioning, talking, going to school, and doing other everyday stuff.What causes autism?Autism has no single definite cause. This disorder seems to be related to abnormalities in several regions of the brain. Researchers have identified a number of gene defects associated with autism.Autism affects about 1 in every 150 children. Knowing the exact cause is hard because the human brain is very complicated. For some reason some of the cells and connections in the brain of a child with autism do not develop properly or get damaged. Scientists are still trying to understand how and why this happens.Families with one autistic child have a one in 20 chance of having a second child with this disorder. In some cases, relatives of autistic children show mild impairments in social and communication skills or engage on repetitive behaviors.Children with symptoms of autism have a higher than normal risk of also having:· Fragile X syndrome, which causes mental retardation· Tuberous Sclerosis, in which tumors grow in the brain· Tourette's Syndrome· Epileptic...

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