Autism Symptoms and Early Signs - Essay Example

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Autism Symptoms and Early Signs Name University Autism Symptoms and Early Signs Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) includes “a class of neurodevelopment disorders that are characterized by qualitative impairments in the development of social and communication skills, often accompanied by stereotyped and restricted patterns of interests and behavior, with onset of impairment before 3 years of age” (Landa 2008)…
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Autism Symptoms and Early Signs
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Download file to see previous pages DSM-IV criteria describes the ASDs in children aged 3 years and older however, the emphasis is now given on characterizing the symptoms before three years as developmental abnormalities occur at a very young age and early intervention can also provide a good prognosis for ASD children. ASD leads to impairments in three functional spheres of influence: communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal, socialization and a deficiency of behavioral flexibility, making the child rely on routines. Autism is considered as the most prevalent among the severe developmental disorders. Classic autism was first described by Leo Lanner in 1943 and according to a 2007 report, it is estimated to occur in approximately 1 in 1000 individuals and ASD occurs in 1 in 150 individuals. Prevalence in Canada is estimated to be two per 1000 for autism and six per 1000 for the whole of the ASDs (Bryson et al 2004; Benson & Haith 2009). As mentioned earlier, the developmental abnormalities start manifesting at a very young age even before 3 years of age. Furthermore studies have provided evidence that early intervention can optimize the outcomes for the children affected with autism. Hence, early diagnosis by detecting the early signs and symptoms in the autistic children can aid early intervention and good prognosis. Before proceeding towards the symptoms and early signs of autism, it would be resourceful to overview the etiology of ASD. No singular cause can be pointed out however; the most common and popularly accepted cause is brain abnormalities and genetic etiology. Moreover, it should be made clear over here that autism is not a psychological disorder brought about by poor parenting or childhood years. One important etiological factor is the hereditary origin of autism. Cluster of unstable genes leading to brain abnormalities is also another explanation for the etiology of autism. Some other current theories which are under investigation include toxin ingestion during pregnancy and environmental factors such as viruses (Evans & Daniels 2006). A male predomination is observed at a ratio of four to one. In monozygotic twins there is a high concordance rate around 90%. In children with pre-existing genetic disorders such as Fragile X syndrome, phenylketonuria, tuberous sclerosis, Angleman’s syndrome and Cornelia de Lange syndrome, autistic symptoms can be manifested (Benson & Haith 2009). The overview of ASD etiology exhibits genetic causes and hereditary co-relation as the main factors leading to the developmental abnormalities in the children. The core symptoms that manifest during the first two years of life represent the abnormalities in the social, communicative and cognitive developmental skills of the child. Any abnormality in the normal development of one functional domain also leads to negative outcome on the others as well. The social abnormalities of the autistic child exhibit themselves in categories of attachment, social imitation, joint attention, orientation to social stimuli, face perception, emotion perception and expression and symbolic play. Children with autism exhibit disoriented relationships with their mothers. In autistic children the social behavior of looking at faces develops late at 12 months as compared to normal development at birth. Social behaviors such as following person’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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