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When Was Autism Spectrum Disorder Discovered

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Stranger Social And Intergroup Anxiety

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Humans generally require social acceptance and thus sometimes dread the disapproval of others. Apprehension of being judged by others may cause anxiety in social environments.

Anxiety during social interactions, particularly between strangers, is common among young people. It may persist into adulthood and become social anxiety or social phobia. “” in small children is not considered a phobia. In adults, an excessive fear of other people is not a developmentally common stage it is called . According to Cutting, social phobics do not fear the crowd but the fact that they may be judged negatively.

varies in degree and severity. For some people, it is characterized by experiencing discomfort or awkwardness during physical social contact , while in other cases it can lead to a fear of interacting with unfamiliar people altogether. Those suffering from this condition may restrict their lifestyles to accommodate the anxiety, minimizing social interaction whenever possible. Social anxiety also forms a core aspect of certain personality disorders, including .

When Was Autism First Discovered

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The History Of Autism

It has been more than 50 years since Leo Kanner first described his classic autistic syndrome. Since then, the results of research and clinical work have helped us learn more about autism. More and more people are being diagnosed as autistic, although we still have a long way to go in creating a world that works for autistic people.

Read our charity’s timeline below to explore the history of autism, meet some of our ‘autism pioneers’ and find out more about the incredible work they’ve done.

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Brief History Of Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder , as its name states, consists of a spectrum. That means it can vary widely from one individual to another. In our previous article titled The Diagnostic Criteria and The 3 Levels of Autism, we shared information on the diagnosis of ASD according to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual 5 . The definition and diagnosis of ASD has evolved according to research done over the years. As someone who works closely with individuals with autism, it was interesting to see how the diagnosis of autism has evolved over the years. This article serves to provide a brief history of autism – how people viewed it and how the diagnosis has changed.

ASD is recognised as a developmental disorder. But did you know that autism was first defined as a psychiatric condition as a form of childhood schizophrenia in the DSM-II ? An Austrian-American psychiatrist and physician, Leo Kanner described autism as an emotional disturbance that does not affect cognition levels . His perspective then shaped the second edition of DSM.

The DSM is not a constant and will evolve as more research is being done. Diagnoses are important as they can shape societys view and more importantly, help in identifying appropriate interventions and strategies to support individuals with ASD. However, a fact can later be disproved to be a myth as more research is done, as seen in the case of the concept Refrigerator Mother.

Forms Of Relation And Interaction

Illustration of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and its ...

According to , forms of relation and interaction in sociology and may be described as follows: first and most basic are animal-like , i.e. various physical movements of the body. Then there are movements with a meaning and purpose. Then there are , or social actions, which address other people, which solicit a response from another agent.

Next are , a pair of social actions, which form the beginning of social interactions. Social interactions in turn form the basis of social relations. Symbols define social relationships. Without symbols, our social life would be no more sophisticated than that of animals. For example, without symbols people would have no aunts or uncles, employers or teachers-or even brothers and sisters. In sum, symbolic integrations analyze how social life depends on the ways people define themselves and others. They study , examining how people make sense out of life, how they determine their relationships.

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Terminology And Distinction From Schizophrenia

As late as the mid-1970s there was little evidence of a genetic role in autism while in 2007 it was believed to be one of the most heritable psychiatric conditions. Although the rise of parent organizations and the destigmatization of childhood ASD have affected how ASD is viewed, parents continue to feel social stigma in situations where their child’s autistic behavior is perceived negatively, and many primary care physicians and medical specialists express some beliefs consistent with outdated autism research.

It took until 1980 for the DSM-III to differentiate autism from childhood schizophrenia. In 1987, the DSM-III-R provided a checklist for diagnosing autism. In May 2013, the DSM-5 was released, updating the classification for pervasive developmental disorders. The grouping of disorders, including PDD-NOS, autism, Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, and CDD, has been removed and replaced with the general term of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The two categories that exist are impaired social communication and/or interaction, and restricted and/or repetitive behaviors.

The Internet has helped autistic individuals bypass nonverbal cues and emotional sharing that they find difficult to deal with, and has given them a way to form online communities and work remotely.Societal and cultural aspects of autism have developed: some in the community seek a cure, while others believe that autism is simply another way of being.

Possible Causes And Risk Factors

The cause of autism remains unclear. However, it appears that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the disorder. A study published in 2011 that assessed pairs of twins in which at least one twin was affected by an ASD suggested that, while genetic factors contribute moderately to susceptibility, environmental factors contribute to a greater degree. Other research has indicated that genetic vulnerability to autism differs between males and females, with more mutations being needed to produce the condition in females compared with males. Increased genetic resiliency to autism in females lends support to the so-called female protective model, which attempts to explain the increased prevalence of autism in males. Interactions between genes and the environment likely play an important role in influencing susceptibility to autism.

An environmental risk factor that has been proposed for autism and other ASDs is maternal infection during pregnancy. Indeed, certain maternal infections have been associated with an increased incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders in offspring. Infection with agents such as the rubella virus activate the mothers immune system, and such immunological activity in the early stages of pregnancy has been linked with damage to the developing brain of the embryo or fetus.

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Inspiring Famous People With Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Autism spectrum disorder is a widely researched disorder that continues to have advancements in understanding and treatment. While it was once assumed to be rare, autism is now thought to affect 1 in every 59 people.

Symptoms of this complex neurobehavioral disorder usually start to show before the age of 3. Characteristics of someone who has autism include:

  • Difficulty in social interactions and communication
  • Impaired ability to experience emotions
  • Inability to recognize the thoughts and feelings of others
  • The presence of repetitive and restrictive patterns of behaviors, rituals, or interests
  • Struggle adapting to change

The severity and pattern of these impairments varies from person to person, which is why professionals refer to this disorder as one that exists on a spectrum. This disorder poses challenges for those who suffer from it, but there are many people who are on the spectrum who have become famous following their success and inspirational journeys.

Think about how the characteristic downfalls of autism can promote success:

  • Acute attention to detail
  • Nonjudgmental listening skills
  • Often above average intelligence

Lets get started.

How Does Autism Affect Kids

Autism Spectrum Disorder: 10 things you should know

Autistic children may not reach the same developmental milestones as their peers, or they may demonstrate the loss of previously developed social or language skills.

For instance, a 2-year-old without autism may show interest in simple games of make-believe. A 4-year-old without autism may enjoy engaging in activities with other children. An autistic child may have trouble interacting with others or dislike it altogether.

Autistic children may also engage in repetitive behaviors, have difficulty sleeping, or compulsively eat nonfood items. They may find it hard to thrive without a structured environment or consistent routine.

If your child is autistic, you may have to work closely with their teachers to ensure they succeed in the classroom.

Many resources are available to help autistic children as well as their loved ones. Local support groups can be found through the national nonprofit The Autism Society of America.

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Screening And Diagnosis Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder can be difficult because there is no medical test, like a blood test, to diagnose the disorder. Doctors look at the childs developmental history and behavior to make a diagnosis.

ASD can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger. By age 2, a diagnosis by an experienced professional can be considered very reliable . However, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until much older. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adolescents or adults. This delay means that children with ASD might not get the early help they need.

Early signs of ASD can include, but are not limited to

  • Avoiding eye contact,
  • Having little interest in other children or caretakers,
  • Limited display of language , or
  • Getting upset by minor changes in routine.

CDCs Learn the Signs. Act Early. program provides free resources to help families monitor developmental milestones and recognize signs of developmental concerns, including ASD.

As children with ASD become adolescents and young adults, they might have difficulties developing and maintaining friendships, communicating with peers and adults, or understanding what behaviors are expected in school or on the job. They may also come to the attention of healthcare providers because they have co-occurring conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety or depression, or conduct disorder.

Recent Studies From Other Countries


  • The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network in the USA looked at eight-year-old children in 14 states in 2008, and found a prevalence rate of autism within those states overall of 1 in 88, with around five times as many boys as girls diagnosed .
  • The National Center for Health Statistics in the USA published findings from telephone surveys of parents of children aged 6-17 undertaken in 2011-12. The report showed a prevalence rate for autism of 1 in 50, .
  • A study of a 0-17 year olds resident in Stockholm between 2001-2007 found a prevalence rate of 11.5 in 1,000, very similar to the rate found other prevalence studies in Western Europe, .
  • A much higher prevalence rate of 2.64% was found in a study done in South Korea, where the researchers found two thirds of the people on the autism spectrum were in the mainstream school population, and had never been diagnosed before. .
  • Researchers comparing studies from different parts of the world over the past few years have come up with a more conservative estimate of 62 in 10,000. They conclude that the both the increase in estimates over time and the variability between countries and regions are likely thanks to broadening diagnostic criteria, service availability and increasing awareness of autism among professionals and the public, .

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Final Thoughts On Inspiring People With Autism Spectrum Disorder

ASD hasnt held these successful people back from living up to their potential. In fact, its the nature of the disorder that could have played a part in their achievements. And thats pretty amazing considering that what characterizes this disordera weakness in communicating on par with social normsis also what has helped inspire these famous people to bring people together through their creativity.

These iconic people we have talked about today are role models for those in the autistic community and other people who may be doubting their ability to succeed. Hopefully their stories have inspired you to go after what you want in life.

History Of Autism: When Was Autism First Diagnosed

Pin by TotsGuide on Autism

For many conditions and disorders, it is easy to find the first point where they were initially described to this day. Their diagnostics criteria are clear. However, this has not been the case for autism. There have been several diagnoses in the past five decades, and they were less direct with several branching out.

In this article, we will talk about how autism diagnosis came to be, who contributed to what, and where we are today.

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What Is The Difference Between Autism And Adhd

Autism and ADHD are sometimes confused with one another.

Children with an ADHD diagnosis consistently have issues with fidgeting, concentrating, and maintaining eye contact with others. These symptoms are also seen in some autistic people.

Despite some similarities, ADHD isnt considered a spectrum disorder. One major difference between the two is that people with ADHD dont tend to lack socio-communicative skills.

If you think your child may be hyperactive, talk with their doctor about possible ADHD testing. Getting a clear diagnosis is essential to ensure that your child is receiving the right treatment.

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.

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Learn About Major Scientific Events And Changes In Scientific Understanding That Helped Us Better Understand Autism Spectrum Disorder

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The concept of autism was introduced over a century ago as a specific symptom of schizophrenia. Since then, autism has gradually become recognized as a neurodevelopmental disorder. Additionally, the perception of autism has changed from being a psychological problem caused by bad parenting to a disorder caused by biological and environmental factors.

Autism is recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition as a developmental disorder. The criteria for diagnosis have been expanded to include milder symptoms, such as in the case of Aspergers syndrome. The DSM-5 does not distinguish subcategories of autism spectrum disorder it looks at deficits in social interactions and repetitive behaviors to help make a diagnosis.

Causes And Risk Factors

Treatment For Autism Spectrum Disorder

We do not know all of the causes of ASD. However, we have learned that there are likely many causes for multiple types of ASD. There may be many different factors that make a child more likely to have an ASD, including environmental, biologic and genetic factors.

  • Most scientists agree that genes are one of the risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop ASD.4, 19
  • Children who have a sibling with ASD are at a higher risk of also having ASD. 5-10
  • Individuals with certain genetic or chromosomal conditions, such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis, can have a greater chance of having ASD. 11-14, 20
  • When taken during pregnancy, the prescription drugs valproic acid and thalidomide have been linked with a higher risk of ASD.15-16
  • There is some evidence that the critical period for developing ASD occurs before, during, and immediately after birth. 17
  • Children born to older parents are at greater risk for having ASD. 18

ASD continues to be an important public health concern. Like the many families living with ASD, CDC wants to find out what causes the disorder. Understanding the factors that make a person more likely to develop ASD will help us learn more about the causes. We are currently working on one of the largest U.S. studies to date, called Study to Explore Early Development . SEED is looking at many possible risk factors for ASD, including genetic, environmental, pregnancy, and behavioral factors.

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The Origin And Natural History Of Autism Spectrum Disorders

volume 19, pages 13901391

  • 8995 Accesses

Refined social phenotyping of syndromic and idiopathic forms of autism, combined with advances in genetics, animal models of syndromes and brain imaging, may facilitate discovery of shared brain mechanisms that will lead to new treatments. The reversal of social deficits in animal models is promising for eventual translation into therapeutics.

How Does Autism Affect Adults

Families who have autistic loved ones may worry about what life with ASD looks like for an adult.

Some autistic adults go on to live or work independently. Others may require continued aid or support throughout their lives. Each autistic person is different.

Introducing therapies and other remedies early in life can help lead to more independence and better quality of life.

Sometimes autistic people dont receive a diagnosis until much later in life. This is due, in part, to a previous lack of awareness among medical practitioners.

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