Autism In The Early 20th Century
The first appearance of autism in historical literature was in 1911 by Eugen Bleuler, a psychiatrist from Switzerland, who used the term to describe a unique cluster of symptoms that were traditionally thought to simply be symptoms of schizophrenia. Coming from the Greek word autos, autism was originally used to describe extreme social withdrawal that was common with psychiatric diseases that presented with psychosis. Although it is now known that autism and schizophrenia are two unrelated disorders, autism was not classified as its own disorder in any diagnostic manual until 1980.
Some Of The Main Autism Causes
Understanding some of these known causes of autism can provide some answers on how do you get autism:
Fig 8Fig 9Fig 10
There may be a genetic predisposition to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Especially when there is a history of autism in your immediate family. For more information on the role of heredity, please refer to the article on Is Autism Genetic.
Additionally, the role of a father transmitting the genetic traits of autism is almost 3 times as high as that as the mothers.
Environmental Factors during Pregnancy
There is a good reason why expecting mums are always recommended to be extra cautious during pregnancy, especially during the first two semesters. It has been observed that there is a strong relationship between mothers exposure to the following factors and autism:
Infections like German measles may lead to anomalies in the development of genomes in the unborn child Consumption of chemicals like Valproic acid and thalidomide
Exposure to pharmaceuticals Thalidomide
Pre-natal depression is fairly common for new mums. In case you need to use any anti depressants to see yourself through this phase, it is critical that you consult your obstetrician as some of these drugs are known to have a link with mental disorders in children. This also applies for post natal depression if you are breast feeding your baby.
Unexpected Situations during Childbirth
Late Recognition Of Symptoms
Next, it’s important to distinguish between a late recognition of symptoms and late onset of symptoms. According to the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria: “Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period .”
In the case of high-functioning autism, for example, it’s not unusual for a child to receive a diagnosis much later than most children are diagnosed with autismbut that’s not because symptoms suddenly developed. Rather, the symptoms are so subtle that it’s only with time that their impact becomes obvious.
“Masked” symptoms are particularly common among girls, who are more likely to, for example, follow others’ lead or become very passive in order to avoid being identified as “different.”
Read Also: Can Mild Autism Be Outgrown
The Original Retirement Community
Its the first, and many people say, the best. Most of the standard features of a 55+ adult community originated here in Sun City, Arizona, including the idea of building an entire community dedicated to leisure and recreation for the active retired adult. Through more than 50 years it has prospered and matured into one of the best values in the country. Our legacy is to continue providing our residents the best place to retire in the state, in our nation, and in the world.
What Research Is Being Done
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world. NINDS and several other NIH Institutes and Centers support research on autism spectrum disorder.
Nearly 20 years ago the NIH formed the Autism Coordinating Committee to enhance the quality, pace, and coordination of efforts at the NIH to find a cure for autism. The NIH/ACC has been instrumental in promoting research to understand and advance ASD. The NIH/ACC also participates in the broader Federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee , composed of representatives from various U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies, the Department of Education, and other governmental organizations, as well as public members, including individuals with ASD and representatives of patient advocacy organizations. One responsibility of the IACC is to develop a strategic plan for ASD research, which guides research programs supported by NIH and other participating organizations.
Recommended Reading: Dyslexia Adhd Autism
How Is Autism Treated
There is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of the individual. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.
Educational/behavioral interventions: Early behavioral/educational interventions have been very successful in many children with ASD. In these interventions therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as applied behavioral analysis, which encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative ones. In addition, family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with ASD.
Who Can Teach Social Skills
There are many social skills to learn, so many different people will teach them in different settings – at home, school, and in the community. A special education teacher, speech pathologist, or other clinician may lead a social skills group that combines direct, explicit instruction with opportunities to practice and generalize these skills in more natural environments. This means real life practice with peers! Other professionals that support social skills include:
- occupational therapists
- many other direct care staff
Read Also: What Is The Symbol For Autism
Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism
- Some people have had concerns that ASD might be linked to the vaccines children receive, but studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing ASD. The National Academy of Medicine, formerly known as Institute of Medicine, reviewed the safety of 8 vaccines to children and adults. The review found that with rare exceptions, these vaccines are very safe.Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality external icon
- A CDC study published in 2013 added to the research showing that vaccines do not cause ASD. The study focused on the number of antigens given during the first two years of life. Antigens are substances in vaccines that cause the bodys immune system to produce disease-fighting antibodies. The results showed that the total amount of antigen from vaccines received was the same between children with ASD and those that did not have ASD.Increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism external icon
Attention Autism Stage 4 Independent Working
When a child has progressed to stage 4, they will be provided with a basic set of instructions to complete an activity alone. For example a basic Lego or Duplo structure. The activity is demonstrated then the child is expected to take it away and complete the activity independently.
Attention Autism is a set procedure and I would encourage you to talk to your childs setting about implementing it or something similar. There are courses available to providers from the Gina Davies website.
Children can develop skills by watching and shouldnt be hindered by a lack of speech and language. Setting up an attention bucket or bag at home and using it once a week is very simple and is a good support to teaching attention skills. It will probably be hard at first but when your child understands the process they are likely to enjoy it.
A great place for lots of Attention Autism examples and suggestions is the.
Don’t Miss: Does Jerry Seinfeld Have Autism
Functional Impact Of Autism On A Person
For some people autism can impact all areas of life significantly, while for others it can impact certain aspects of life to a lesser degree. Because of this, autism is referred to as a spectrum and diagnosed based on both signs and characteristics, and the impact that these differences may have on a persons life over time
If the signs or characteristics shown by a person are causing significant challenges in social, personal, family, occupational or other important areas of a persons life then it is likely that the person will be diagnosed as having autism, or being on the autism spectrum.
If the signs and characteristics are not having a major impact on a persons life or relationships, and they are able to function in all social and interpersonal settings, its unlikely that autism will be diagnosed.
The specific behaviours that capture the criteria listed above and the degree to which they affect daily life differ between individuals and can be influenced by factors such as age, learning and available supports. Due to this variability, the DSM5 provides severity levels 1 to 3 for each of the two domains to reflect the degree to which the behaviours they capture interfere in the individuals daily life requiring support.
NOTE: It is important to remember that these severity levels are a snapshot of functioning at the time of diagnosis and may change over time as skills develop and/or demands change.
How Is Autism Diagnosed
Fortunately, the way autism is diagnosed has changed and improved over the last 80 years.
We now recognise a wider range of signs and characteristics as forming part of the autism spectrum.
As awareness increases, parents and professionals are getting better at identifying early signs of autism and are more likely to seek an autism assessment.
This explains why people think autism is more prevalent today than it was ten or twenty years ago.
Recommended Reading: Best Dogs For Autistic Child
What Role Do Genes Play
Twin and family studies strongly suggest that some people have a genetic predisposition to autism. Identical twin studies show that if one twin is affected, then the other will be affected between 36 to 95 percent of the time. There are a number of studies in progress to determine the specific genetic factors associated with the development of ASD. In families with one child with ASD, the risk of having a second child with the disorder also increases. Many of the genes found to be associated with autism are involved in the function of the chemical connections between brain neurons . Researchers are looking for clues about which genes contribute to increased susceptibility. In some cases, parents and other relatives of a child with ASD show mild impairments in social communication skills or engage in repetitive behaviors. Evidence also suggests that emotional disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia occur more frequently than average in the families of people with ASD.
Autism As A Social And Emotional Disorder
Autism was first characterized as a social and emotional disorder in 1943 by Dr. Leo Kanner, a child psychiatrist in the United States. In a paper published in the journal Nervous Child titled Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact, Kanner describes a distinct syndrome characterized by children who are highly intelligent but have tendencies towards social withdrawal with emotional limitations.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic in Germany, Hans Asperger was defining a different form of autism. Asperger published his autism psychopathology article in 1944, describing autism as a disorder of normal intelligence children who have difficulties with social and communication skills. Later thought of as a milder form of autism and now commonly known as Aspergers disorder, children with Aspergers tend to suffer similar challenges with social interactions but do not have the same language development challenges often found in Kanners disorder.
Read Also: Does James Holzhauer Have Autism
Regression Can Be Real Or Apparent
Over the past few years, there have been some debates as to whether regression, in which there is a loss of acquired communication or social skills, is a real phenomenon or an apparent one. Some have wondered whether parent reports were exaggerated.
Video records, however, combined with studies, make it clear that at least some children do in fact regress into autism while others either show signs of autism in infancy or “plateau” in their development.
A relatively new set of studies looking at the younger siblings of children with autism in their earliest months are discovering that subtle regression is quite common. While parents may notice issues such as loss of language or eye contact, researchers are noticing small losses in the areas of motor skills and response to social cues.
Such regression typically occurs before age 3. According to researcher Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, “upwards of 20% to 30% recall a period when their children lost social and communication skills in the second year of life.”
At present, no one knows exactly what causes regression, but according to developmental-behavioral pediatrician Paul Wang, We understand now that regression is common. It starts early, and it can affect many different developmental skills.”
The Flower Pot Rocket For Stage Two Attention Autism
You need two small plastic flower pots, parcel tape and mouldable foam soap
In advance tape over the holes on one of the flower pots with parcel tape.
When you are ready to do the activity cover the taped pot with foam. Then place the other pot over it quickly so the foam spurts out the top like a rocket.
For more stage two ideas I have a great post on 17 different attention builders.
Read Also: Can A Child With Autism Have Dyslexia
The Facts About Autism And Common Misconceptions
Are you finding that well-meaning family and friends, media commentators even some health professionals are making you more concerned and confused about your own or your childs autism or suspected autism?
Misinformation and mixed messages can lead to feelings of guilt and isolation and can work against a proactive diagnosis and support program. Although the global understanding of autism is constantly evolving, here are some of the commonly understood facts, to help you put some of these misconceptions about autism to bed.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder refers to a group of complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by repetitive and characteristic patterns of behavior and difficulties with social communication and interaction. The symptoms are present from early childhood and affect daily functioning.
The term spectrum refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD. Some children and adults with ASD are fully able to perform all activities of daily living while others require substantial support to perform basic activities. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders includes Asperger syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified as part of ASD rather than as separate disorders. A diagnosis of ASD includes an assessment of intellectual disability and language impairment.
ASD occurs in every racial and ethnic group, and across all socioeconomic levels. However, boys are significantly more likely to develop ASD than girls. The latest analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 children has ASD.
Also Check: Heritability Of Autism
Tips For Getting Attention From An Autistic Child
You need to understand what your child is motivated by, what do they have positive reactions to ? Take time to try different things and have a good understanding of what works. The activity needs to be irresistible to the child if you want them to engage with you. Many autistic people are very visual so being visually appealing, colourful, exciting is a great way to get attention.
As much as possible reduce distractions . You need to be the most exciting thing in the room. Under-fives can rarely focus on more than one thing. I appreciate this can be particularly hard when a child is also trying to do anything other than engage with you.
I remember being advised to remove all distractions, so I tried an empty room, my son played with a speck of dirt on the floor then a plug socket. It can be heart-breaking having to work so hard to simply engage with your child my best advice is keep going it will get easier.
Work on shared attention and turn taking. Teaching your child to wait using phrases like waiting, 1,2,3, go and ready, steady, go and using them often will help with understanding. Using consistent phrases will also support speech development. It may seem like it doesnt work for a very long time but it will eventually make a difference and when it does it really is worth it. Make sure you start by waiting or taking turns very quickly. As your child develops their ability to wait time taken for turns can be increased.
Autism Is Not An Illness
Being autistic does not mean you have an illness or disease. It means your brain works in a different way from other people.
It’s something you’re born with or first appears when you’re very young.
If you’re autistic, you’re autistic your whole life.
Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a “cure”. But some people need support to help them with certain things.
Recommended Reading: Symmetra Comic Autism
Effects Of Autism On Social Development
- Lack of Empathy- Many autistic children lack the ability to see things from another persons perspective such as their knowledge, feelings, and intentions based on social cues such as gestures and facial expressions.
- Making friends in real life and maintaining those friendships often proves to be difficult for children with autism. Autistic children often seem to prefer being alone and may passively accept such things as hugs and cuddling without reciprocating, or resist attention altogether
- Behavioral Issues- Children may face difficulty regulating their behavior, resulting in crying, verbal outbursts and also self-injuring behavior. They are not able to adapt to change. However, as the child matures and receives education/training, he or she can gradually learn to control and cope with difficult situations and changes.