Though autism is incurable and usually results in social isolation to varying degrees, various forms of treatment have proven to make a decidedly positive impact in the way autistics interact with others. Unfortunately, parents, as a rule, do not have major concerns or seek assistance for their child until obvious signs of deficiencies regarding speech and response patterns are demonstrated compared to others of similar age. This can occur as late as pre-school or kindergarten years. The age at which autism is diagnosed and the degree of comprehensive treatment received are the determining factors in that person’s ability to ultimately function as an independent adult. It has been demonstrated that this disorder of a biological nature can be effectively treated by utilizing a behavioral approach. This concept is examined in addition to the symptoms, tests and treatments for autism.
Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler was the first to use the term ‘autism’ in 1911 but he used to describe what is now known as schizophrenia. In 1943 Johns Hopkins University Dr. Leo Kanner used the term to describe the condition we are familiar with today following his study of 11 children that had withdrawn from contact with people, some as young as one year old. It wasn’t until the 1960’s the symptoms and treatment for the disorder was better understood. Until then “this lack of understanding of the disorder lead many parents to believe that they were at fault” (History, 2005).