Autism. False Words and False Hopes

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Good report for Autism. "Informative, good organization"

Hajducko 1

Steven Hajducko

Prof. Sims

MWF 10:00-11:00

29 November 1995

False Words and False Hope

Autism is a childhood disease where the child is in a private world of their

own. A description of an autistic child by her mother is:

We start with an image---a tiny, golden child on hands and knees,

circling round and round a spot on the floor in mysterious self-

absorbed delight. She does not look up, though she is smiling

and laughing; she does not call our attention to the mysterious

object of her pleasure. She does not see us at all. She and the

spot are all there is, and though she is eighteen months old, an

age for touching, tasting, pointing, pushing, exploring, she is doing

none of these. (Groden 2)

This is the most important trait in an autistic child: They don't interact or

socialize with other people.

Other characteristics in autistic children are

language retardation and ritualistic or compulsive behaviors. It used to be

thought that children became autistic because of 'poor parenting' and that the

only solution was that the parents should be removed from the child (Baron-

Cohen 26). Now it is known that autism is caused by biological factors due to:

neurological symptoms, mental handicap, genetic causes, infections, and even

difficulties in pregnancy.

Even though autism is thought of as a disease or disorder, autistic

Hajducko 2

children can demonstrate special skills. These skills are referred to as 'isolated

islets of intelligence' (Baron-Cohen 53). Some examples of these are found in

an autistic child's ability to draw, play music, or recall a certain date. Nadia, an

autistic child, has the ability to draw in an 'almost photographic way' (Baron-

Cohen 54). Autistic children can also play instruments, accurately sing...