AUTISM: A Pervasive Developmental/Spectrum Disorder

Autism or PPD (pervasive developmental disorder) is defined by the Columbia encyclopedia as a rare neurodevelopment disorder characterized by the inability to relate to and perceive the environment in a realistic manner. The onset of the disorder is in infancy or early childhood, generally before the age of thirty months, and males are affected four times as often as females. Symptoms include impairment in social interaction, fixation on inanimate objects, inability to communicate normally, and resistance to changes in daily routine (1).

Diagnosing Autism is based on four characteristics: difficulty with language, abnormal responses to sensory stimuli, resistance to change and difficulty with social interaction. “Other characteristics of autism may include: making the same repetitive motion for hours, repeating a sound or phrase, inability to hold a conversation, practicing unusual play patterns, and extreme sensitivity to sound and touch” (Riccio, 1999). Autistics can exhibit any combination of these characteristics in any degree. That is why autism is referred to as a “spectrum” disorder, because at one end of the disorder a child may be inflicted with some symptoms, while at the opposite end a child may be inflicted with multiple symptoms with many areas in between. Children who display a few symptoms may be characterized as “mildly autistic”.

 

In 1943, a man by the name of Leo Kanner formally identified autism; he labeled the disorder “autistic disturbance of affective contact”. Autism was first described in America, officially, in 1980 with the publication of DSM-III (Peter E. Tanguay; Julia Robertson; Ann Derrick, 1980, p.1). There was much confusion, both before and after Kanner’s description, regarding the continuity of autism with schizophrenia and other then-recognized forms of psychosis (Lippincott/Williams & Wilkins, 1999 p.8). Kanner noticed that autistic infants had a reverse pattern typically observed in normal infants. Infants are normally interested in social, as opposed to nonsocial environments.

 

The cause for autism remains unclear, although most neurological studies seem to indicate a dysfunction in the brain as a possible reason. Autism has been found in children with brain abnormalities such as congenital rubella syndrome, neurofibromatosis, and tuberous sclerosis. Autism can also be present in genetic syndromes such as fragile X syndrome and phenylketonuria. Some research has shown that there may be an autism gene, or two genes working together. These genes are thought to be on the seventh and thirteenth chromosome. The disorder is, in some instances, may be hereditary as shown by twin studies that cite there is a “substantially higher rate in identical twins-so much so that heritability is over 90%”, says Joseph Piven (cited in Applied Genetics News p.1). In a Harvard Mental Health letter (1997) statistics found that the rate of autism and mild retardation in brothers, sisters and fraternal twins of autistics is 50-100 times higher than average and in identical twins the rate is 65% to 90%. In 1980 it was found that among 11 families with a father diagnosed with autism more than half of their children were autistic. The apparently normal parents of autistic children had undiagnosed mild symptoms of autism when tested.

 

Early signs of Autism may appear in the first months of life. Autistic infants tend to stray away from other people, avoiding touch and become limp or stiff when picked up or help. Autistic children do not reach maturation as fast as normal children. A normal child will point to objects or smile when seeing their mother before the end of their first year, but children with autism develop this behavior much later. These symptoms may go on unnoticed by parents or doctors in infancy, but by the age of two to three, it is clear that something is wrong.

 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that one in 500 children in America suffers from autism. Autistic children are unable to recognize themselves or remember things that they have just done. For example, if an autistic child were to show someone a toy of theirs, they would forget they have just shown it and show the toy repeatedly as if they have never presented it before. They may examine a simple little toy or electronic device for hours without losing interest, or rock back and forth in a particular spot for an entire afternoon. The repetitions of little things seem to be a grand achievement for these children.

 

In diagnosing, or assessing autism the child’s history is taken into consideration. For instance whether or not the family has autism in any other branches of its tree can help to determine whether a child may or may not have autism. The Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (1999) states: Aspects of the assessment will vary depending on the child’s age, history, and previous evaluations (p.6). The history would include the history of the pregnancy and development of the child, marking such milestones as communication and motor skills (i.e. child’s first words or steps), and when thought to be unusual. Doctors will often discuss their medical history, such as the possibility of seizures, hearing and visual impairments along with other conditions or syndromes such as fragile X syndrome. Doctors will do this because there is not a specific laboratory test for autism at this point in time. These studies and discussions help in the search for a diagnosis. A test for fragile X syndrome may be given because of its direct association with autism.  Autistic children are often characterized by repetitive motions such as clapping, hand flapping and rocking back and forth. Some are extremely sensitive to minor noises, scents and pain, and may even throw tantrums for no apparent reason at any given time.

 

Experts say early intervention is critical. Some treatments include special diets and vitamin supplements and focus on drawing a child with autism away from their agenda. If an autistic child is geared away from what they want they tend to become aggressive. Autistic children tend to stray away from conversation or tasks in an irregular manner unable to focus on what others may want. Some signs of the disorder include a decrease in language skills and interaction in activity and attention with others. People with autism do not understand social norms or rules like normal people. Autistics are unable to learn from observation. They need to be taught the significance and meaning of a frown as a pose to a smile, or how to focus on the person that is talking to them.

 

Autism is easily confused with low intelligence, but many children with autism are in fact very smart. “While 70 percent of the children diagnosed with autism score below average on IQ tests, many are of normal intelligence, and a few are considered quite bright” (Riccio, 1999 p.1). Autistics can learn and improve their education and behavior, and this allows some of them to function as close to normal if not equal in society although most still need assistance with living and job skills throughout adulthood.

 

Every autistic child is unique. Not all therapies are universal. Each one has to be tailored for the specific patient. People with autism like a very structured environment. They like consistency in their surroundings. Even a slight change in their home setting, E.I.: the movement of a table, can be very unsettling and make the child agitated.

 

Although most autistic people are severely mentally retarded about 10 percent are autistic “savants”. A savant is a person who incredibly excels in a particular area, such as music or math. “A person who has autism yet can play a Beethoven sonata after hearing it just once or can do complex mathematical equations, or tell you whether December 3, 1956, fell on a Tuesday or Wednesday” (p.1). Savants may be mentally retarded but they have what Dr. Pratt calls “a very strong, specific talent” (cited in Riccio, 1999). Savants may also have the ability to focus solely on one specific task, or talent while tuning out their immediate surroundings. The part of their brain that their talent is derived from may be intensified and used almost to full capacity. Gary Anthes, a reporter for Computer World states that “autistic individuals are excellent candidates for computer programming and graphics positions” (1997, p.1). Because autistics can often exhibit strong talents and are able to focus so well, these types of jobs would be greatly beneficial to themselves and their employers. Because of their lack of social skills, they are able to focus solely on their work, and the fact that autistic people need a clear-cut plan or goal, like the plans and goals programming offers, helps them overcome the obstacles of life with autism. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 helped produce user-friendly work environments for those with physical impairments (Anthes 1997, p.2). This act has helped both the disabled and the employer realize the specific needs of each other and work together to suit the interests of both the employer and the disabled associate.

In conclusion, autism is a very complex disorder and because of the different extents of the disorder, it is very hard to find a cure. With the technology of today improving at rapid rate autism is now better understood and treated than fifty years ago when autism was first “announced”. People are starting to realize and understand that people with autism have something to offer, and just aren’t mentally retarded. Although this disorder is not very pleasant its condition has improved over the time it was first introduced as a pervasive development disorder, and hopefully, within the next fifty years, a possible cause or cure will be developed for autism.

 

reference

 

American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

 

Autism Society of America. (2001). What is autism? Retrieved March 11, 2003, from http://www.autism-society.org/whatisautism/autism.html#approach.

 

Buitelaar, J.K., & Willemsen-Swinkels, S.H. (2000). Medication treatment in subjects with autistic spectrum disorders. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 9(Suppl.), 1185–1197.

Carr, E.G. (1994). Emerging themes in the functional analysis of problem behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 27, 393–399.

Chabane, N., Leboyer, M., & Mouren-Simeoni, M.C. (2000). Opiate antagonists in children and adolescents. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 9(Suppl.), 1144–1150.

Cohen, D.J., & Volkmar, F.R. (1997). Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Committee on Children with Disabilities. (2001). American Academy of Pediatrics: Counseling families who choose complementary and alternative medicine for their child with chronic illness or disability. Pediatrics, 107, 598–601.

Coniglio, S.J., Lewis, J.D., Lang, C., Burns, T.G., Subhani-Siddique, R., Weintraub, A., Schub, H., & Holden, E.W. (2001). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of single-dose intravenous secretin as a treatment for children with autism. Journal of Pediatrics, 138, 649–655.

Elder, J.H. (1995). In-home communication intervention training for parents of multiply handicapped children. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice, 9, 71–92.

 

Elder, J.H. (1996). Behavioral treatment of children with autism, mental retardation and related disabilities: Ethics and efficacy. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 9, 3–12.

 

Feldman, H.M., Kolmen, B.K., & Gonzaga, A.M. (1999). Naltrexone and communication skills in young children with autism. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 38, 587–593.

 

Ferster, C.B., & De Myer, M.K. (1961). The development of performance in autistic children in an automatically controlled environment. Journal of Chronic Diseases, 13, 312–345.

 

Frost, L., & Bondy, A.S. (1994). PECS: The Picture Exchange Communication System training manual. Newark, DE: Pyramid Educational Consultants, Inc.

 

Ghaziuddin, M., Tsai, L., & Ghaziuddin, N. (1992). Clonidine for autism. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 2, 239–240.

 

Gray, C. (1995). Teaching children with autism to “read” social situations. In K. Quill (Ed.), Teaching children with autism: Strategies to enhance communication and socialization (pp. 219–242). New York: Delmar.

 

Greenspan, S.I. (1992). Reconsidering the diagnosis and treatment of very young children with autism spectrum or pervasive developmental disorder. Zero to Three, 13, 1–9.

 

Hamilton, L.M. (2000). Facing Autism: Giving parents reasons for hope and guidance for help. Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press.

 

Ishizaki, A., Sugama, M., & Takeuchi, N. (1999). The usefulness of melatonin for developmental sleep and emotional/behavior disorders—studies of melatonin trial on 50 patients with developmental disorders. No-To-Hattatsu, 31, 428–437.

 

Kaiser, A.P., & Hester, P.P. (1996). How everyday environments support children’s communication. In L.K. Koegel, R.L. Koegel, & G. Dunlap (Eds.), Positive behavioral support: Including people with difficult behavior in the community (pp. 145–162). Baltimore: P.H. Brookes.

 

Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous Children, 2, 217–250.

 

Kellegrew, D.H. (1995). Integrated school placements for children with disabilities. In R.L. Koegel & L.K. Koegel (Eds.), Teaching children with autism (pp. 1–15). Baltimore: P.H. Brookes.

 

Kern, J.K, Miller, V.S., Cauller, P.L., Kendall, P.R., Mehta, P.J., & Dodd, M. (2001). Effectiveness of N, N-dimethylglycine in autism and pervasive developmental disorder. Journal of Child Neurology, 16(3), 169–173.

 

Knivesberg, A.M., Reichelt, K.L., Nodland, M., & Hoien, T. (1995). Autistic syndromes and diet. A four-year follow-up study of 15 subjects. Scandinavian Journal of Education Research, 39, 223–236.

 

Lovaas, O. (1978). Parents as therapists. In E. Schopler & M. Rutter (Eds.), Autism: A reappraisal of concepts and treatment (pp. 369–377). New York: Plenum.

 

Lovaas, O. (1987). Behavioral treatment and normal educational and intellectual functioning in young autistic children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 3–9.

 

Lovaas, O.I., Berberich, J.P., Perloff, B.F., & Shaeffer, B. (1966). Acquisition of imitative speech in schizophrenic children. Science, 151, 705–707.

 

McDougle, C.J., Holmes, J.P., Carlson, D.C., Pelton, G.H., Cohen, D.J., & Price, L.H. (1998). A double-blind placebo-controlling study of risperidone in adults with autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders. Archives of General Psychiatry, 55, 633–641.

 

Mirenda, P., & Erickson, K.A. (2000). Augmentative communication and literacy. In A.M. Wetherby & B.M. Prizant (Eds.), Autism spectrum disorders: A transactional developmental perspective (pp. 333–367). Baltimore: P.H. Brookes.

 

Mudford, O.C., Martin, N.T., Eikeseth, S., & Bibby, P. (2001). Parent-managed behavioral treatment for preschool children with autism: Some characteristics of UK programs. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 22(3), 173–182.

Posey, D.J., & McDougle, C.J. (2000). The pharmacotherapy of target symptoms associated with autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 8(2), 45–63.

Potenza, M.N., Holmes, J.P., Kanes, S.J., & McDougle, C.J. (1999). Olanzapine treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with pervasive developmental disorders: An open-label pilot study. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 19(1), 37–44.

Riddle, M.A., Kastelic, E.A., & Frosch, E. (2001). Pediatric psychopharmacology. Journal of Child Psychiatry and Psychology, 42(1), 73.

Rimland, B. (1990). Dimethylglycine (DMG), a nontoxic metabolite, and autism. Autism Research Review International, 4(2), 3.

Rimland, B. (1999). Parental ratings of behavioral effects of drugs and nutrients. Autism Institute Publication, 34.

Roberts, W., Weaver, L., Brian, J., Bryson, S., Emelianova, S., Griffiths, A.M., MacKinnon, B., Yim, C., Wolpin, J., & Koren, G. (2001). Repeated doses of porcine secretin in the treatment of autism: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Pediatrics, 107(5), 71.

Robinson, T.W. (2001). Homeopathic secretin in autism: A clinical pilot study. British Homeopathic Journal, 90(2), 86–91.

Rutter, M. (1978). Diagnosis and definition. In M. Rutter & E. Schopler (Eds.), Autism: A reappraisal of concepts and treatment (pp. 1–25). New York: Plenum.

Sailor, W. (1991). Special education in restructured schools. Remedial and Special Education, 12(6), 8–22.

Sandler, A.D., Sutton, K.A., DeWeese, J., Girardi, M.A., Sheppard, V., & Bodfish, J.W. (1999). A lack of benefit of a single dose of synthetic human secretin in the treatment of autism and pervasive developmental disorder. New England Journal of Medicine, 341, 1801–1806.

Schopler, E. (1996). Parents’ survival manual: A guide to crisis resolution in autism and related developmental disorders. New York: Plenum.

 

Schuler, A.L., & Wolfberg, P.J. (2000). In A.M. Wetherby & B.M. Prizant (Eds.), Autism spectrum disorders: A transactional developmental perspective (pp. 251–277). Baltimore: P.H. Brookes.

 

Screibman, L. (1997). Theoretical perspectives on behavioral intervention for individuals with autism. In D.J. Cohen & F.R. Volkmar (Eds.), Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (2nd ed; pp. 920–933). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Sun, Z., & Cade, J.R. (1999). A peptide found in schizophrenia and autism causes behavioral changes in rats. Autism, 3(1), 85–95.

Sun, Z., Cade, J.R., Fregly, M.J., & Privette, R.M. (1996). B-casomorphin induces fos-like immunoreactivity in discrete brain regions relevant to schizophrenia and autism. Autism, 3(1), 67–81.

Tanguay, P.E. (2000). Pervasive developmental disorders: A 10-year review. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 1079–1095.

Wolraich, M.L. (1996). Diet and behavior: What the research shows. Contemporary Pediatrics, 13(12), 29–39.

 


Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

fast coursework help

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason may is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Our essay writers are graduates with diplomas, bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college diploma. When assigning your order, we match the paper subject with the area of specialization of the writer.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

How It Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

 

smile and order essaysmile and order essayPLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH GRADE VALLEY TODAY AND GET AN AMAZING DISCOUNT

order custom essay paper

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *