Bible gateway. (2011). Retrieved July 7, 2011 http://www.biblegateway. / Fisher, Mary & Anne Ocepka. (2011). We' . Teacher Education Special
Autism spectrum disorders affect millions of people every year, preventing them from hearing, seeing, and sensing normally. In addition to affecting patients, the disorder also affects their families and society as a whole. People suffering from autism experience difficulty creating social relationships, communicating with other individuals, and putting across normal behavior. The brain no longer functions ordinary because it is affected on a neurological level. Autism is a particularly complex disorder and can be seen in patients in diverse combinations and in the company of many other disabilities. Depending on patients and on the seriousness of the disorder autism can either have little effect on an individual's intelligence level or it can severely affect the patient, preventing him or her from being able to deal with the malady. It is very probable for a person suffering from autism to be unable to develop functional speech and for those who actually do to have trouble displaying normal communicative functions.
All individuals that have a malady from the Autism spectrum disorders set have trouble interacting socially and behaving normal. However, while some are unable to integrate society because of the severity of their disorder, others are capable to communicate and interact with other persons. Those who are willing to interact with other people can put across confusing and even disturbing behaviors. They do not respond to stimuli in a normal manner, as they are not supportive in regard to change, show little interest in matters that would attract people who are mentally normal, or display obsession concerning a particular object or individual. It is very difficult for physicians to understand this disorder because one cannot come up with a series of standard characteristics describing the malady, as none of those suffering from autism show identical symptoms.
While a first encounter with a person with autism can influence someone in believing that the respective individual is actually interested in social interaction because of the fact that he or she communicates, it is very likely that the person is unreceptive to the surrounding environment. Most people suffering from autism display difficulty in initiating a conversation and in responding to their peers. In comparison to normal children, who show an increase in social interaction during their early years, children with autism continue to display difficulty in play and communication during their early school years. The first years of a person's life are very important and can shape the individual's personality in later years. Play is an essential part of one's early life, given that it is responsible for creating a person's sense of personal identity, creativity, and the ability to understand and put across abstract thinking. While mentally healthy children are able to engage in diverse and complex games, children with autism typically engage in non-elaborate activities (Murdock & Hobbs, 870).
It is generally believed that autism spectrum disorders affect about four to five individuals in 10-000 births. However, when considering a more extensive range of disorders, approximations point toward a prevalence rate of one individual in 500 births. Males are affected more often by the disease, with the male-to-female proportion being somewhere between 4:1 to 5:1 (Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders).
In spite of the fact that autism has been recognized as a severe mental illness for several decades, the medical world has limited information concerning the disorder. Its cause and the combination of factors that trigger it are not fully understood. Even with this, many physicians believe that it is a genetic disorder and that particular genes are responsible for it. Considering that genes are generally acknowledged to play an important role in creating autism, doctors are actively involved in discovering which genes are accountable for the disorder and how they are affected. However, conditions are complex and it appears that while some genes can be responsible in the case of some families, others are affected by other genes. Also, events during one's early life can influence the respective individual's genetic structure in the future. Factors such as complications during pregnancy and environmental elements are believed to play an essential role in affecting genetics. There are a series of theories regarding autism and how it can affect people, but it is difficult to identify one of them in particular as being the cause for the disorder. "For instance, autism spectrum disorders has been associated with prenatal exposure to rubella, chromosomal abnormalities, such as Fragile X, as well as brain abnormalities, such as hydrocephalus. Many consider autism spectrum disorders to be a "final common pathway" as there are many different possible causes" (Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders).
Children with autism are often excluded from social groups during their early lives because they are unable to join other in playing games. Even when they are accepted by their mentally healthy peers, children with autism usually have passive roles and have no actual power over the game. Given that individuals with autism are hesitant about socially interacting, it is beneficial for them to be assisted by prompters who can influence their behavior and who can encourage them to identify with their peers. "Written scripts with picture cues were utilized to teach verbal utterances related to themes (i.e. birthday party, farm, bakery, and ocean theme park). Typical peers were taught to engage and prompt the children with ASD. Results indicated increases in scripted phrases for all participants and in unscripted phrases for 2 of the 3 participants" (Murdock & Hobbs, 870).
While some might be inclined to believe that a person with autism has a negative effect on a family, reality can be very different. Autism can actually bring a family together, as it is not until people have to care for and understand a mentally ill individual that they realize the importance that love and family can have in someone's life. Although there is presently no definitive method of diagnosing autism, a physician who is experienced in autism spectrum disorders is likely to have little difficulty in identifying the disorder. An ideal diagnose can be given when the team dealing with the potentially mentally ill individual consists out of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, and a speech-language pathologist (Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3). One can easily mistake another mental disorder for autism, as the symptoms present in autism are similar to symptoms that occur in the case of other mental disorders. Autism has reported to be mistaken for Asperger's Disorder, Rett's Disorder, and a series of other maladies that display similar symptoms. However, one can single out autism by removing symptoms that are known to be absent in the case of autism.
There are several myths related to autism and the masses are inclined to believe everything they hear concerning the disorder. A person with autism does not necessarily express lack of enthusiasm about eye and social contact, does not necessarily posses amazing abilities, and does not necessarily have autism because of the unwelcoming environment that he or she lived in during his or her early life.
Autism cannot be cured but it can be treated, and, the patient is likely to display positive results if he or she undergoes a favorable treatment process. In the case of some patients treatment can produce little to no positive results, this either being because of the fact that some individuals are unresponsive to methods used by physicians or because their condition is to severe to be treated. Peers are particularly important when considering treatment methods, as they can influence patients to gradually change their personality and become less hesitant regarding social interaction. A peer does not necessarily have to be experienced in order to assist a person suffering from autism, as he…