Autism is a general name for the group of illnesses known as autism spectrum disorders, or ASDs. It is a neurological developmental disability that affects a person’s behavior and communication skills and the complications that it causes are unfortunately irreversible. According to the recent statistics data it can be found in every hundred and tenth child in the U.S. Every case is observed and monitored in order to find out more information for helping these kids.
Generally, autism is diagnosed in children right at infancy and early childhood. The disability in the majority of cases develops gradually without any remissions. However there are rare cases when it is discovered later.
Basically, a kid is diagnosed with autism if demonstrating the following symptoms: problematic communication and difficulties in interaction, interests that are somehow restricted or deficient as well as tendency to repetitive behaviors. Some children tend to develop atypical eating patterns and the like but such symptoms are considered optional and not enough basis for a diagnosis; while the severe aforementioned symptoms are. It is also frequent that some minor autism symptoms can be found in generally healthy people. However, this is not the ground for considering such people disable.
The mechanism of the disability works in the way that it changes the pattern of nerve cells and their synapses’ connection and organization, therefore, affecting a person’s behavior and communication. The nature of the process is not yet fully understood and for now the condition is considered untreatable.
In the modern medical practice there distinguished three main types of autism.
- The first one is known as “classic” autism, or Autistic Disorder. This is the most frequent form of the disability and, perhaps, this is what is understood as autism by the majority of people. This type of the condition is characterized by the problems with language and communication in the first place. Everything social comes with difficulty and represents a challenge. It is also infrequent that people with autistic disorder have got also mental disability.
- The second autism type is called Asperger Syndrome. In comparison to the autistic disorder it is milder in the representation of the symptoms, though, they are generally the same. The significant difference, however, lies in the fact that people diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome are not intellectually disabled and do not suffer from any speech problems.
- “Atypical autism” is the third type of the ASDs and in medical terms is known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Such a diagnosis is set to people with milder symptoms than the ones with autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome. Generally, the greatest problem and challenge to such patients is everything that is connected with the sphere of communication.
As it has been aforementioned, autism declares itself in infancy or early childhood with the very small chance of improvement. Generally, a couple of months are enough to detect and diagnose the condition. Once started, it has no remission. There are, however, cases when the symptoms were not detected until the child achieved 18 months of age, or even 24. In such cases seemingly normal in development kids start losing the skills they have gained and showing the signs of inability to gain new ones.
It is considered that autism is genetically defined. However it is still not completely clear whether the disability is caused only by the rare mutations or some changes in combinations of genes that are fraught with such consequences. Some researches claim that certain agents are in charge of this certain birth defect. Others blame environmental pollution or improper vaccine use, or else. In anyway, the true reason has not yet been discovered. At the present moment it is a responsibility of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor and evaluate the occurrence of autism cases in kids in the U.S. according to their statistic reports the percentage of people suffering from autism has risen in the recent years. Though, perhaps such numbers are due to the modernization of the diagnostic equipment and methods now used.