Kids with Autism
In this earth we have many different lifeforms. Animals, plants, insects, and people. Humans have populated the earth all throughout it. Some people are born healthy and some are born will disorders and illnesses and diseases. One of the disorders is Autism. Autism is constantly affecting the people who have it and the people around them all over the world.
So what is Autism? Autism is a disorder that impairs the ability for social interaction and communication. It is very common in the United States, having more than 200,000 cases every year. And that’s just in the United States! In other countries people born with Autism is probably just as much as in United States. It has no cure but can be treated with therapies and communication programs. Three to five years is the average age people get it. They mostly get it at birth but you don’t figure that out after they are a couple years old. It’s awful but one in every one hundred fifty people will have Autism. Fun fact: men are most likely to have Autism than women (4:1). There are three different forms of Autism. There’s Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder.
Autistic Spectrum Disorder is pretty much “the” autism that most people think about when they hear the word “autism”. People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder usually have language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with autistic disorder also have intellectual (a person possessing a highly developed understanding) disability. They can’t speak well to others and have very little actual intelligence. It’s not their fault, they were born that way. Another form of Autism is Pervasive Developmental Disorder. This is the mildest form of Autism. Autism Support of West Shore says PDD does not have many symptoms, only ones may cause social and communication challenges. You would be very lucky to get this form of Autism instead of the others. PDD would be easier to handle and control.
And lastly is Aspergers Syndrome. Aspergers Syndrome is also mild. May have communication and social interaction challenges but intelligence is very high. They tend to retain knowledge like a sponge. It is rare thankfully.
A brief history of Autism: 1943, Leo Kanner (chairman of the newly formed Department of Child Psychiatry at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore) published an article called “Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact” in a journal called Nervous Child. It’s a study about 11 children with autism and he describes the behavior of each child and he named their syndrome Kanner’s Syndrome.
People having odd speech and unusual behaviors date back to Christianity. In 1799 a story called “the Wild Boy of Aveyron” a 5 year old boy was sent to a mental asylum in England because he wouldn’t play with the other kids and just played by himself. They thought he was a future psychopath because back then, if you did anything unorthodox they thought you were crazy.
Fun fact: Gay people were sent to asylums as well. Being gay was unnatural and spoken out as wrong then. As wrong as it still is now, in today’s world it is accepted.
Is Autism Genetic or Not
Most cases are idiopathic (arise spontaneously. Unknown cause).
Some cases can be genetic if it runs in the family.
A few treatment options include Early Intensive Behavioral Interventions, interventions based on Applied Behavior Analysis, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Developmental therapies, and Relationship Development Intervention.
Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA for short is treatment that rewards and gives consequences. If they do something good then they get rewarded. If they do something bad they get punished. This treatment teaches them what’s wrong and what’s right.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication is the type of treatment for people with Autism who are non-verbal. They use devices to communicate with them and teach them how to use the device.
Developmental therapies have not been to specified. It needs more research in order for it to work. One that I found rather interesting is Sensory Integration. Sensory Integration helps with irregularities in how an individual with autism processes certain, sights, movements, and sounds. This treatment pretty much breaks habits that won’t help them in the real world.
One more treatment option is Relationship Development Intervention. This treatment has 6 things it works on. Social coordination, declarative language, flexible thinking, relation information processing, and foresight and hindsight. These are the basic things that you learn as a baby and toddler, but most kids with Autism do not usually learn them during those stages.
With Autism, it’s not expected to happen. You can never predict it before then. So, parents, thinking their baby will be “normal”, are pretty stressed and overwhelmed to find out their kid has Autism.
I have experience with children with Autism. My brother, Arlo (10), has Aspergers Syndrome. As I said before, it’s a type of autism that makes people have repetitive behaviors and social problems. On the upside, kids with this Autism are generally very intelligent. He goes to a really elite school and is top in his classes. Even though he’s smart, he has speech problems that he takes speech therapy for. He can’t really say words like, “snake” or “lie”. “S”and “L” words are his worst. When he speaks, he stutters and stops mid sentence and then starts back up again. He also avoids eye contact and doesn’t like talking to strangers much. He only likes family and friends (teachers and kids at his school). Now another thing he does is he repeats things a lot. Not just when he speaks, but with his actions. We let him watch “Major Payne” and everything coming out of his mouth for the next two years were nothing but Major Payne quotes. He was obsessed with guns (Nerf) and camo for those two years. It was the HARDEST thing to get him off of. We tried everything, but nothing would get him off of it. Finally he went back to Star Wars (was always obsessed with Star Wars in the beginning) once the new movie came out. It was like he was back to normal. In his free time he watches Star Wars shows, plays with legos, and goes outside.
Now sometimes, my parents get annoyed with his condition. I would too because he’s like a little toddler bugging their parents every second. We still love him like anyone else in the family though. Most parents will get annoyed or ask the question, “why me?” when having a child with Autism. Some parents abandon their children once they find out about the disorder.
Autism can change everything in someone’s life and their isn’t a single thing you can do about it. Now, some people will be very negative to the people with Autism, but, in 1 Peter 3:8 it says, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble”. Just stay positive and get passed all the negative things about them and you’ll learn that they are just as amazing as any other child.