Autism Spectrum Disorder is a disease that affects learning capabilities

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a disease that affects learning capabilities, social skills, and communication with other individuals. Usually a diagnosis will involve a test or Analysis that involves a form along with other screening instruments in young offspring. Common signs such as poor social interaction, communication, and educational barriers, can be seen in the early stages of development. Autism is one of the most common developmental disorders and is found usually amongst boys. Indicators are wide-ranging, but the most general side effects are not being able to verbally or non-verbally communicate, repetitive movement or dialogue, and social discomfort.
Autism at a Glance Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is mostly characterized by social awkwardness, neurodevelopment problems, extreme intelligence in limited areas, and repeated patterns of behavior. Autism is usually diagnosed as young as infancy. Parents and physicians should report any common signs of autism immediately, as they can go untreated and may cause many problems down the road in the child’s development. 1 Studies have shown young boys are four times more likely to have the Autism than girls. Autism may affect your speech, your actions, and your ability to socialize with others, but it does not make you any less of a human being.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most misunderstood developmental disorders. Children may have difficulty dealing with autism especially when it comes to their day to day lives. To the misinformed Individuals with Autism are considered “weird” and simply not accepted into the social norm. Many school administrators know if one of their students has ASD, because of the child’s lack of communication skills it would be difficult to explain that to those around them. Usually children with autism are outcasts in their age groups. One reason why is because they do a lot of things in repetition. This motion is routine and pacifying and upsets them to stop. Examples could be anything from tapping their fingers on an object continuously, shaking their leg, or even sucking their thumb. Autistic children are also looked at as ignorant or intellectual disabled, but in fact they are extremely intelligent. Science and math are concrete subjects that people with autism usually like. The solutions rarely vary and are not up for debate. The exactness of math and science is what draws them to the subject. Also, almost all patients with ASD are gifted in some area usually related to numbers, dates, or music.
Since autism is usually diagnosed in infants, those who have delayed motor skills, little or no speech, and who have trouble entertaining themselves may be candidates for the disease. Autistic children also seem to have issues with hearing, but in actuality they will not respond due to poor communication skills. None the less, an audiologist can ensure whether a hearing problem does or does not exist. “The initial screening involves some simple screening tools such as attention span monitoring. If problems are found, an actual evaluation will have to take place. This usually involves a psychologist, multidisciplinary team, neurologist, psychiatrist, speech therapist, and other professionals” (National, 2011). The older the child becomes the more side effects that are connected socially may arise. Warning signs may include obsessive behavior, muttering about a certain topic that interests them and no social responsiveness.
Autism is reported all around the world. Although most cases of autism are caught within the first couple years of a child’s life, it can still be reported as late as eight years of age. It is extremely rare that an adult is diagnosed with autism. This is mostly due to the essential differences socially and in communication. Boys are more likely to be diagnosed than girls (around one in four). Parents should take the necessary precautions for their children diagnosed with autism. Most importantly being attentive to their child and seeking counseling from the family physician are important first steps to take. If problems persist, a specialist should be consulted. Parents should also notify all individuals within the child’s life including daycare providers, school nurses and administrators in case a major episode was to occur.
2 In today’s society, communication is the key to success. With the issues that may arise with autistic individuals it is best to have a plan devised for early intervention. Speech therapists and counseling are crucial interventions that help to “practice” real world conversations. Learning how to talk casually, and how to express feelings adequately are areas that may be improved greatly with the proper intervention at an early age. It is imperative for parents to continue the “practicing” at home. This guarantees that real life situations are handled as well as can be.
Sometimes bullying can be a real threat to autistic children. Hazing, being bullied, and being treated generally horrible are all examples of this universal threat. Having a disorder is a serious matter and people should be more sensitive about how they treat others whether they are autistic or not. “Hyperactivity is prevalent in autistic children, but they really do not know how to interact properly so they appear to be “acting out” (Kenishiro, 2010). Medication and therapeutic treatment can help an autistic person cooperate with others more efficiently, but the fact remains that they are always going to be seen as different.
3 Theory of Mind is defined as an understanding that others have minds that are different from our own. More specifically, it is the understanding that others have thoughts, feelings and perspectives that differ from ours. 4 Theory of Mind allows us to understand and predict the behaviors of others based on what we think they might be thinking. For example, though we may not be feeling sad ourselves, we can imagine another’s perspective and empathize with someone who might be having a hard day.
Researchers have shown that prior to four years of age, children’s responses are inconsistent, with some children showing this ability while others do not. However, between the ages of 4 and 6 years, this ability emerges and becomes consistent in typically-developing children. This ability appears to be impaired in individuals with autism.
Within the context of ASD, deficits in Theory of Mind may be at the core of many of the behaviors associated with the disorder. Theory of Mind limitations may lead to misreading or failure to read emotions, intentions, or cues from others. Theory of Mind challenges may lead to limited expression of empathy toward others. Theory of Mind deficits may also result in one approaching a situation with assumptions that may not be accurate.
A common struggle for those with autism is the inability to comprehend when others don’t know something, such as the answer to a question. This can result in frustration and sometimes even meltdowns. Because it is hard to process that others can think differently than they do, those with ASD can sometimes experience trouble with social skills and communication. Often people misunderstand people with ASD to be self-centered because they cannot sufficiently process that others have thoughts and emotions different from their own, and rarely ask about other’s days or feelings. However, while they may not understand their friend’s or family’s views, there is no evidence to support that they feel any sense of superiority.
For many years, the black community has shunned talks about developmental disabilities and mental illness. 5 Often the Black community refers to family members on what to do, or brush it off as something they may outgrow. The Black community excuses a lot of things, which cause them not to seek out professionals. When it comes to the developmentally disabled, the term slow or short yellow school bus is frequently used. The topic of mental illness is typically avoided. In this technological age, there is no excuse for being uninformed especially when it prevents those who need help from receiving it. Autism affects people of all races and ethnicities, but research (FN1) shows that African-American and Latino children with autism are diagnosed at older ages than white children, giving them less of an opportunity for proper intervention and treatment. 5 Individualized education programs in the public school systems are not a medical diagnosis. You have to seek professional help.
As a parent, it is hard to accept that your child may have a problem, but when it comes to autism, catching it early makes all the difference. If autism is diagnosed in its early stages, ideally by the age of eighteen months, this can interrupt the development and minimize problems associated with autism. The signs and symptoms of autism vary widely. However, every child on the autism spectrum has problems in communicating verbally and nonverbally, relating to others, and thinking and behaving flexibly. Some children with autism spectrum disorders start to develop communication skills and then regress, usually between 12 and 24 months. And, as a parent you are in the best position to spot the earliest warning signs of autism, better than any licensed pediatrician. Parents should monitor your child’s development: take action if you are concerned; do not accept a ‘wait and see’ approach; and trust your instincts. Questions to ask the doctor: is my child’s development on target for his or her age; are my child’s social skills developing normally; what further evaluation and testing are necessary to evaluate my child for possible autism; and what resources are available to support our child and family?
Each autism intervention plan should be tailored to address specific needs. Intervention can involve behavioral and management treatments, medicines, or a combination of both behavioral training and management treatments use positive reinforcement, self-help, and social skills training to improve behavior and communication. Applied behavioral analysis is designed to both correct behavior and teach skills for dealing with specific situations. It is based on the principle of reinforcement; that behavior can be changed by rewarding desired behavior and removing reinforcement for unwanted behavior.
Developmental pediatricians are key. They help children set milestones, and then compare these milestones a year later, to see improvements in their development. Specialized therapies for speech, occupational, and physical therapy are important for managing autism. Medicines are most commonly used to treat related conditions and possibly problem behaviors, including depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Be aware that every child is different. So, whatever approach is used for the child, an individualized treatment plan designed to meet his or her unique needs is essential. The benefits of early detection are so monumental. Usually by seven and eight years old, if autism goes undetected, a child is written off as mentally retarded with no hope. So, it is important to do your research and increase your awareness with the right information.
Awareness is key. Several resources have highlighted medical, educational, and cultural issues as the basis for the causes of the disparities. According to the CDC, 95.9% of Black children do have medical insurance; however, many of these children are poor and receive health care via Medicaid, limiting their options for care. Many parents in the African American community do not have or maintain a family doctor they see regularly. Due to the lack of private practice doctors in the Black community, and the growth of public clinics, many African American children may see different physicians throughout their childhood.
6 African American and Latino children are often overlooked when it comes to autism. Regional Centers in Los Angeles, which offer services to the developmentally disabled, are now starting to look at the diagnosis disparity problem. Westside Regional Center in Culver City looks at how autism diagnosis disparities manifest within their intake and treatment programs. One of the apparent biases among intake counselors at the center stems from the difference in the documentation that arrives with each new child. African-American families tend to arrive at the center with lots of documentation detailing behavior issues from their child’s school or social services. With all those official papers sitting in front of them, it’s much easier for a counselor to think behavior disease rather than autism. And that disparity exists in dollars spent, as well. As reported in a 2017 survey, South Central Regional Center spends $8,000 less per client than the Westside location and the racial disparity persists statewide.
5 Intervention for any autistic child needs to start around age three, so the child can begin to learn how to eat right and develop normal, healthy routines, which will result in a better developmental outcome. There are services and organizations that aid in early detection, finding resources, receiving support, and just increasing the general awareness. This is a call to action for us all, directly affected by autism or not. We have to help spread the right information, increase awareness, and help to put the demand of initiatives and services in the areas that really need it.