The Gist of Autism

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An individual diagnosed with Autism may experience challenges in social skills, language development, and repetitive behaviors. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder. It tends to merge between the age of 2 and 3 years old. Approximately 1 in 68 American children are diagnosed with Autism. It is more common in boys than girls. It has been documented that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) have demonstrated to be most success.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the full name. There are mild, moderate, and severe symptoms, hence why it is a spectrum disorder. Behavior Analysis is a field within psychology that focuses on understanding behavior and how it is affected by the environment. The use of scientifically-validated teaching techniques to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior is known as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Positive change is correcting the symptoms of ASD.

Positive change in behavior are: (but not limited to)

1. increase socialization
2. increase communication skills
3. decrease problematic and repetitive behaviors

Some of the common repetitive behaviors displayed in individuals with ASD are aggression, self-injury, bizarre speech, and hand flapping.

Although Autism is typically a life long condition, it is beneficial that individuals receive interventions and therapies. There becomes a concern when individuals don't achieve certain developmental milestones. Learning to talk, walk, eat independently, and play with others are things that an individual should start learning between the ages of birth and 3 years old. Overall, Autism means that person has developmental delays in some way(s).

Someone who has Autism may need more support to develop certain skills. The earlier interventions are the better. Interventions can start as early as 18 months (with some agencies) to 2-3 years old. Individuals with Autism with have different abilities and limitations. It is important that each individual is treated accordingly and has the best interventions and therapies for their needs.

Genetic disorders, sleep disorders, seizure disorders, and sensory processing are others problems that may occur in individuals with Autism. While it is not in every person with Autism in some there are genetic conditions that affect the development of the brain. Some may have seizure disorders such as epilepsy. The seizures themselves can range from mild to severe as well. It is more common to experience sleep problems as a child rather than an adult. With sensory problems the individual will have a problem processing information. Pica is also something someone with autism may experience. Pica is when someone eats things that are edible. As you can see it is truly a spectrum disorder. It is important to locate a professional that can assess the individual on diagnosing them with autism if they have and identifying them what their strengths and weaknesses are.