2nd April 2014: Autizimi

 

they showed enormous enthusiam at the event.

Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behavior. The diagnostic criteria require that symptoms become apparent before a child is three years old.  Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.  It is one of three recognized disorders in the autism spectrum (ASDs), the other two being Asperger syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (commonly abbreviated as PDD-NOS), which is diagnosed when the full set of criteria for autism or Asperger syndrome are not met.

Autism has a strong genetic basis, although the genetics of autism are complex and it is unclear whether ASD is explained more by rare mutations, or by rare combinations of common genetic variants.  In rare cases, autism is strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects. Controversies surround other proposed environmental causes, such as heavy metals, pesticides or childhood vaccines;  the vaccine hypotheses are biologically implausible and lack convincing scientific evidence. The prevalence of autism is about 1–2 per 1,000 people worldwide, and it occurs about four times more often in boys than girls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report 1.5% of children in the United States (one in 68) are diagnosed with ASD as of 2014, a 30% increase from one in 88 in 2012. The number of people diagnosed with autism has been increasing dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice and government-subsidized financial incentives for named diagnoses; the question of whether actual prevalence has increased is unresolved.

Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. The signs usually develop gradually, but some autistic children first develop more normally and then regress. Early behavioral, cognitive, or speech interventions can help autistic children gain self-care, social, and communication skills. Although there is no known cure, there have been reported cases of children who recovered. Not many children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, though some become successful. An autistic culture has developed, with some individuals seeking a cure and others believing autism should be accepted as a difference and not treated as a disorder.

 

Diagnosis

To date, autism is behaviorally diagnosed by trained clinicians following guidelines set forth by American Psychiatric Association’s manual called DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual).

According to DSM-5, released in May 2013, an autism diagnosis involves deficits in the following two areas:

1. Social interactions and Communications 2. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior and interests

The range and degree of autism symptoms falls on a continuum, called the autism spectrum. Therefore, both children with severe deficits as well as those who are mildly affected are considered to have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Co-occurring Symptoms in Autism

Autism symptoms range in presentation and severity. Children with autism frequently have an intellectual disability, but some children with autism will have normal intelligence. Children with autism may also have seizures, motor abnormalities, anxiety, sleep cycle disturbances, gastrointestinal problems, immune dysfunction and sensory disturbances. Not all the features are present in every child. Instead, a subset of features underlies autism in each individual.

 

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