About autism and other similar disorders

Essay by Hero9866College, Undergraduate November 2002

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Autism is a disorder that severely impairs development of a person's ability to communicate, interact with other people, and maintain normal contact with the outside world. The disorder was first discovered in 1943 by an American psychiatrist Leo Kanner. Autism affects 2 to 5 out of every 10,000 children and appears before the age of three. It is also five times more common in males than in females.

Autism is often referred to as a spectrum disorder, which means that the symptoms can occur in any number of combinations and with different degrees of severity. Autism usually starts in infancy. Autistic infants will stiffen or go limp when being held by a parent, rather than clinging, or cuddling with the parent. Autistic children as a whole do not develop normal relationships with their parents, brothers or sisters, and other children. Often they don't react to their mothers voice and fail to make eye contact when around their parents.

The lack of relationship with their parents leads to trouble making friends once in school.

Autistic children will often play by themselves, as they do repetitious activities. They will flip a light switch on and off for hours, or repeat body movements such as spinning, flapping their arms or legs, swaying, rocking, snapping of their fingers, and clapping of their hands. They will also sit there staring at a spinning object for a prolonged span of time. A lot of times these behaviors will be harmful or destructive, like biting of wrists, grinding of their teeth, and banging their head repeatedly into a wall. These children will also become enrage at minor changes in their daily schedule and their daily surroundings. Changing a classroom or a teacher could send a child into an uncontrollable fit.

Most autistics have difficulties with language...