11 October 2012
A Briefing in Autism
Autism is a brain impairment, a disorder that affects the neural development, causing difficulty in a person's ability to communicate, understand and speak, and most of all social interaction. Childhood autism usually manifests itself before the age of three and is more common in boys than girls, 1 in 88 kids are now diagnosed with some type of autism in the United States. Autism is not necessarily accompanied by mental retardation because there are cases of children with speech and intelligence intact, especially those diagnosed with “...Asperger's Syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, that is marked by normal intelligence, often accompanied by exceptional skill or talent in a specific area, but deficient social and communication skills...” (Myers). Giving the fact that austim is a spectrum (ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder), which I like to compare it to a rainbow, there are many forms, or categories that are within the spectrum. One of them is PDD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder which differs from autism by becoming evident only after 3 years of age. Because Autism has not a specific cause, it is called syndrome (= set of symptoms) and as in any syndrome, the degree of impairment can vary from most severe to the milder and reaches all social classes worldwide.
Leo Kanner (1894 to 1981) was the first to classify autism in 1943, when he published “Autistic disturbances of affective contact”, in the magazine Nervous Children. The article studied and described the condition of 11 children considered special, they had in common extreme isolation from the beginning of life and an obsessive desire for the preservation of the routine. Soon after, Hans Asperger (1906-1980) in 1944 researched and classified Asperger's Syndrome, one of the most known forms of Autism today. ("Best Behaviour...