Autism is a neurological disorder that most commonly effects the communication and social development in people. Signs of autism will often start before a child turns three. The illness literally alters the how the nerves and synapses connect and process. There are actually three different versions of autism, on the autism spectrum disorder chart, each having their own issues and severity.
The first disorder on the ASD is autism. Autism again causes problems with communication and social ability. The second is Aspergers Disorder causes problems with cognitive abilities and language. The final issue on the ASD spectrum is appreciated as PDD-NOS, which stands for Pervasive Development Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified.
What causes autism is still not known. There are many speculations, but nothing has been concretely proven. There is some evidence that it is genetically based, but researchers are still not sure it is caused by a random mutation or a combination of genetic issues. There has been debate over whether environmental causes could have been at fault for birth defects. In some instances autism has been linked back to metal, pesticides, or vaccines.
Boys are four time more likely to develop one of the autism spectrum disorders than girls are. Since 1980 the number of diagnosis of this disease has increased dramatically. Part of this is because of new developments in the process of diagnosing autism. Because of this it is hard to determine whether cases have actually increased or if diagnosis has become easier.
Children with autism show symptoms like having repetitive movements, this can include things like rocking or hand flapping. They may also be compulsive with things like following rules, arranging objects, or stacking. Children with autism are very resistant to change and can have meltdowns if forced to do something out of their comfort zone. They may also have a type of restricted behavior pattern. This can display in them becoming obsessed with a certain song, television show, or toy. Studies also show that 30 percent of children with autism spectrum will at some point cause injury to themselves, this can include things like pulling their own hair, hitting their head against things, and picking at their skin.
Parents will often notice that there is something wrong with their child in their first two years. Children with autism will not develop at the same rate as other children their age. Sometimes these children will actually regress in development. Early intervention and treatment with cognitive therapy can really help kids that are dealing with autism, but there is no known cure. Some children with autism will never be able to function in society on their own. And on the other hand some children react to treatment so positively that they lose their diagnosis of autism.