Essay by Cutie1229High School, 12th gradeA, February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 4.3

Autism is a biological brain disorder that generally appears before the age of three. Autism impairs the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. Also one with autism often has numerous physical ailments which may include: allergies, asthma, epilepsy, digestive disorders, persistent viral infections, feeding disorders, sleeping disorders, and more.

According to a survey twelve to sixteen percent of American children have developmental or behavioral disorders. Among these disorders is autism, which is also referred to as infantile autism or autistic disorder. Autistic disorder is more prevalent in males than in females. Males are four times more likely to develop autism; however, they usually have milder forms of the disorder, while females tend to have mental retardation associated with their autism. Even though autism differentiates among gender there appears to be no difference in prevalence across racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries, nor are there specific risk factors to be aware of.

Autistic disorder is difficult to diagnose, especially in young children due to the fact that speech and reasoning are still developing. However, early diagnosis is essential and medical officials highly recommended that all children are screened for autism at least once to ensure early intervention. Autism is found in many forms and can vary from mild to severe. Also it can present itself alone or in addition to other conditions such as mental retardation, Tourette syndrome, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, or epilepsy. Autistic disorder is not usually recognized until age two, when the child starts having severe difficulty in relating to others, which is demonstrated by deficits in communication and the inability to form relationships.

Autism does not have just one...