Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the U. S. It is a neurological developmental disorder that usually appears through the first three years of life. Among all the 3-12 year old children in the country, 1% have an autism spectrum disorder. Some of them include Autistic disorder (classic autism) Asperger’s syndrome, Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, Rett’s syndrome and Childhood disintegrative disorder. A child with autism appears to live in their own world, showing little interest in others and a lack of social awareness.

Some symptoms include difficulty socializing and communicating, lack of eye contact, delayed speech, difficulty reading people, obsessive interests, need for routine, repetitive behavior, poor motor coordination, and abnormal sensory processing. The focus of an autistic child is a consistent routine and includes an interest in repeating odd and peculiar behaviors. Autistic children often have problems in communication, avoiding eye contact, and show limited attachment to others. Autism can prevent a child from forming relationships with others.

Persons with autism tend to exhibit repeated body movements such as flapping of the hands or rocking back and forth. They usually have unusual attachments to objects. However, many persons with autism excel consistently on certain mental tasks such as counting, measuring, art, music, and memory (Warber). Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder. Because autism is roughly four times more common in boys than girls, several studies have investigated whether mutations in genes on the X chromosome contribute to the disorder. No one is sure yet what exactly causes autism.

Researchers are working to understand the etiology of autism, but so far nothing has been consistent across all cases. Autism is not inherited; it can be inherited from parents with genes for autism. Autism can also be the result of the spontaneous mutation of a gene. Human physiology is a long chain of intricate events, starting with genetic code and ending in outward appearances and personalities. Along the way, molecules are combined and taken apart, cells are built, protein synthesized, hormones regulated, neural function promoted, and on down the line. We know that genetics play a role; unfortunately no genes have been openly implicated.

It is also known that exposure to certain environmental toxins such as thalidomide is associated with a later diagnosis of autism. We cannot rule out the possibility that other toxins may again cause similar symptoms. There are several treatments or interventions available although there is currently no substantiated cure or cures. It is now widely acknowledged that the provision of early intensive behavioral intervention can result in such significant mprovement in some individuals that they are able to “lose” their autism diagnosis following intervention.

Just as autism occurs on spectrum, autism treatments (and the research to identify, verify, and refine them) run a range of possibilities: Does one pick Just one symptom to treat? Furthermore, how does one go about treating unique cases with the same method or similarly, establish benchmarks for assessment when the disorder is so complex? Even identifying which symptoms are easiest or most important to treat is cause for more research. As more is learned, new questions evelop. With a moving target like autism, the questions grow rapidly and the need tor quality research to tind the answers becomes even more imperative (Valoney).

It is not difficult to demonstrate the fact that there are more boys with autistic spectrum disorders than girls. Hans Asperger originally believed that no girls were affected by the syndrome he described in 1944, although clinical evidence later caused him to revise this statement. In Kanner’s 1943 study of a small group of children with autistic syndrome there were four times as many boys as girls; and in their much arger study of Asperger syndrome in mainstream schools in Sweden in 1993, Ehlers and Gillberg found the same male to female ratio of .

The ratio of male to female clients in NAS adult services is approximately 3:1 . Autism is NOT more prevalent among any particular race, creed or color. What has been discovered through recent research, however, is that African American children tend to be diagnosed later than white children with Autism. A study done at the Kennedy Krieger Institute shows that children as early as 6 months can be tested for autism. A pull to sit test shows hat when a child’s head lags when you pull them and their head lags behind them that may indicate early signs of autism.

Children should be able to have their head up by 4 months. Dr. Marc Siegel says “we are usually diagnosing this disease around the age of 4; we are trying to diagnose it earlier. Bibliography Valoney, Michael V. “Research and Resources. ” OAR I Resources ?ยป Research and Resources. Organization for Autism Research, n. d. Web. 17 Apr. 2013. Warber, Adrienne. “Prognosis for Autism. ” LoveToKnow. N. p. , 06 Jan. 2011. Web. 22 Apr. 2013.