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Autism - Essay Example

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The Autism Spectrum Disorders include: Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), Autism Disorder, Child Disintegrative Disorder and Rett Syndrome. 1. Autism Disorder In recent years, diagnoses of Autism have increased both in breadth and in depth. The increase in the prevalence of this developmental disorder to 1 in 88 children has become so alarming that many parents and practitioners have been more diligent in knowing more about it. Zalla et al. (2006) has encapsulated the definition of Autism as follows: It is “a complex developmental disorder characterised by severe difficulties in communication, social interactions, and executive functions. Social and communication disturbances are generally explained in terms of a defective neurocognitive mechanism responsible for the attribution of thoughts and feelings to oneself and to others” (p. 527). The many symptoms presented by individuals with Autism have been inconsistent in pointing to just one disorder that is why it had to be spread out to various disorders within the Autism spectrum. Although there are overlaps of symptoms, there are also categorical clusters that belong to one disorder that can be differentiated from another disorder. 2. Asperger’s Syndrome Under the umbrella of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) exists the highest functioning Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) subtype called Asperger’s Syndrome (Kurita, Koyama & Osada, 2005). This is characterized by several deficits in age-appropriate social interactions and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior interests (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). 3. Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV) defines “children with symptoms such as restricted social interaction, poor verbal and non-verbal communication skills strict and/or stereotypical behaviors but without full diagnostic criteria of Autism” (APA, 1994 cited in Karabekiroglu & Akbas, 2011, p. 142) as Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). The symptoms for this disorder may be observed in other disorders under the umbrella of Autism which makes it difficult to differentiate PDD-NOS from the rest of the disorders in the spectrum. Examples of these shared symptoms are deficits in social reciprocity or communication, as well as the presence of restricted or repetitive behaviors, severe mental retardation or language delay as well as reactive attachment disorder, psychotic disorders (Karabekiroglu & Akbas, 2011). 4. Child Disintegrative Disorder It is more frustrating for parents to know that their healthy and normal children suddenly change for the worse after the first two years of life. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD) is one of the disorders that belong to the Autistic spectrum characterized by normal development of communication, social and motor skills during the child’s first two years of life followed by a drastic regression between the ages of 2-10 years in at least two of the developmental areas. Other names for childhood disintegrative disorder are Heller's syndrome, Dementia Infantillis and disintegrative psychosis (Encyclopedia of Mental Disorder ...Show more


Exploring Autism With the growing resources unearthed about various human illnesses and disorders, more and more research has been conducted to find more about developmental disorders that besiege children today. One developmental disorder that has captured the interest and attention of parents, educators and other professionals concerned with the well-being of children, is Autism…
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Autism essay example
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