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Autism affects 1 in 88 children in America today. In other countries it may be more, but only those with the ability to research and spread the word are accountable. While research and psychology on the topic have come a long way over the years, there is much more to be done. Researchers are looking outside the box to find factors that may contribute to those being afflicted with Autism. The known factors that have been established are genetics, those with neuro diseases already and environmental. There are other areas that scientists are now looking into, when these factors do not play a part in the individual’s case.

Children born with Autism have delayed social interactions, impaired cognitive function, and some have no communication at all. (Dinatale, Dart, Allen, Jordan, & Ranuer, July) They tend to repeat patterns and may cause interference with learning and while in a social setting. They often tend to be shy, fearful, and anxious, have inappropriate moods and no imagination when it comes to play. In severe cases, some children, due to higher endorphins, self injure themselves. In very young children, many symptoms go unnoticed. This is not due to a lack of parenting, but to each “normal” childs progression is different, so the parent may not see a potential problem, but just a delay in that skill. While most of these examples are seen in all cases of Autism, the reality of why they have it is still a mystery.

Neurologically, they have poor body language, such as no eye contact when speaking to or being spoken to. They also prefer to be alone and lack the need or want to socialize with others, even children of their own age. Children with Autism may be clumsy, do what is called tip toe walking, and have less movement with their joints. Spinning and clapping of the hands can also be tell tale signs of a child that may have Autism. Some patients with Autism will also develop seizures later on with severity being all over the map.

Genetics play a large role in those born with Autism. A newborn whose parents, or a close family member, has Autism, the likelihood of that child having Autism doubles. Some mental illnesses have also been found to contribute to Autism in children. Boys are 52 percent more likely to have Autism then girls, which is why gene mutation is now being studied. For those afflicted with other diseases, the likelihood of having a child born with Autism also increases. Examples of these are fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis and congenital rubella syndrome. Mothers that ingest certain chemicals during pregnancy can also lead to Autism and let’s not forget environmental toxins, such as mercury.

Today there are many treatments available to those that have Autism, especially since it is being diagnosed earlier than years prior. Counseling for both the patient and the family is needed to have a mutual understanding of the prognosis and the treatment. Medication is needed in some cases to treat underlying things as well as the Autism. Most of the time it is to help aid in anxiety and social behavior. Education is key to both sides of this disease. Parents need to well informed about their specific case in order to help their child. There are also support groups for families that Autism has affected. To be able to hear how others coped and dealt with this can be a useful tool to have. No matter what path one takes to help a person with Autism, it needs to be individualized to that person.

Today, researches are trying to have a better understanding of the exact cause of Autism. Right now there are too many variables which make it an inexact science and therefore, trial and error. There needs to be new education, for all involved, the parents, the child, and the scientists. A movement forward is needed to obtain an answer that will fit most cases of Autism. Right now, researchers and doctors are looking into personalized brain imaging. This would make diagnosis and treatment fit to meet that individuals needs.

No matter what treatment one picks, or the severity of the case, this disease needs to further its studies on the how’s, when’s and whys. Not just for the individual, but for all those affected by it. Everyone is different, yet this disease does not just affect those with the predisposition to it. The more research and case studies that are done, the better the outcome will be.

Visually, this presentation was appealing and set a tone for what we are about to see. It is done in a calm format, which is fitting to the topic of Autism. The use of letters that stand out, yet are not too bold make you want to continue reading the information. Some of the pictures used give the reader a good visual representation of what is going on.

The information overall was good and informative. I would liked to have seen a little more depth into what is being done now in research to help with those affected by Autism. A brief description is given, but no in-depth detail of the facts. Are there any studies being done? What tests are being performed now that were not ten years ago? Have any new drugs come out that have been proven to help? From the outside looking in, I want to know what is being done now should I need the help. I may have also mentioned some organizations that could be contacted, or address other new day researchers that are out there

Overall, a very good presentation with information to help in a better understanding of Autism and what is being done to conquer it. For those that know nothing of the disease, this presentation will give them enough information to help them find their way to the answers they need.

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