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Autistic Spectrum - Essay Example

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This paper shall discuss why is it difficult to identify children who are at the mild end of the autistic spectrum. Autism literally means living in terms of the self. To an observer, a child in a state of autism appears to be self-centered since he shows little response to the outside world…
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Autistic Spectrum
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Download file to see previous pages Autism is usually detected in children, and it has some very unique characteristics which identify an autistic child. Difficulties in areas of communication are the core of autism. Autism is a developmental disorder affecting social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication skills. (Norbury& Bishop 2002) Autistic children typically do not follow the usual patterns of childhood development and while most cases can be detected before the age of three, not all cases are diagnosed so early. Typically, parents first notice that their child does not interact, babble, talk or respond like other children, sometimes suspecting hearing problems before autism is diagnosed. (Couteur et al. 2005)
Detection of children who are at the mild end of the autistic spectrum is at times a very difficult task. Most autistic children do not make eye contact and have poor attention duration. They are often unable to use gestures, either as a primary of communication, as in sign language, or to accompany verbal communication such as pointing to the object that they want. (Letts & Leinonen, 2001) Some autistic children speak in a high-pitched voice or use robot-like speech. They are often unresponsive to the speech of others and may not respond to their own names. For many, speech and language develop, to some degree, but not to a normal ability level. The development is usually uneven. (Frith 1991)
This is a normalThis is a normal condition. There is little awareness of the outside world as such, which is experienced in the mode of the infant's bodily organs, processes and zones. A normal infant emerges from this state because of an innate disposition to recognize patterns, similarities, repetitions and continuities. (Smith et al. 1998) Detection of children who are at the mild end of the autistic spectrum is difficult, as the raw materials for such mental processes as recognition, classification, object creation and empathy. Through these processes, the child builds an inner representation of commonly agreed reality and becomes self-conscious. The study of children who have failed to emerge satisfactorily from the state of normal primary autism brings home to us the complexity and delicacy of the time-consuming process of becoming aware of the world and its objects, persons and other minds. (Gerlach 1996)
When things have gone grossly wrong with these early cognitive processes we say that the child is psychotic. The degree to which he is out of touch with reality distinguishes the psychotic from the neurotic child. However, it is important to make the point that the normal healthy infant who starts life by being out of touch with reality is not psychotic. But he is autistic. (Hollander et al. 2001)
Autism is a "spectrum disorder," meaning that it manifests itself differently in each child. However, Detection of children who are at the mild end of the autistic spectrum is not an easy task. Like a row of dominoes, if an early aspect of development is affected in a particular case of autism, other later-emerging aspects of development will be affected too. As a result, each case of autism presents a slightly different profile of learning abilities ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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