Most experts believe that autism has been existed throughout the history of mankind. Some speculate that ancient legends pertaining to changelings are, in fact, the stories of autistic children. Since 80s to onward, many researchers have studied the disorder to uncover the possible causes of this condition. So many studies have come forward with genetic, toxins, metabolic, environmental and unusual reaction to certain food.
Despite all the research, autism still remains a mystery. The information given in this article may not work as a complete guide about the autism but it has all the basic facts about the disorder.
Autism is an established neurobiological or neurodevelopment conditionwhich takes place within the human brain. It is now an accepted fact that this disorder is present at birth and is more common among boys than girls. The adolescent left behind is usually distant, mute and remote, staring into space and often remains unresponsive to their adult caretakers.
Triad of Impairment
People with autism are not the same and will have different signs and symptoms though there are some common characteristics all autistics share. Usually, these characteristics pair with the ‘triad of impairment’consisting of significant deficits across certain developmental parts such as social impairment, thinking and behaving impairments, and verbal and non-verbal communication impairment.
- Social Impairment
There are numerous sub-types of behaviors that describe this group of sufferers. They can be quite, distant, behaving as if no one exits at all. They make little or no eye contact and seem to lack any facial expression or emotional display. This group also has people who participate as a passive partner in different activities and return the eye contact of others. ‘Active but odd group’ is another subtype of social impairment behaviors. People of this group have poor eye contact and pay no attentions on others. They may stare too long and are often found with shaking hands too strongly and vigorously. Finally, there is the overly formal and stilled group of autistics who tends to use language in formal way, is excessively polite and sticks to social interaction rules without actually understanding them.
- Communication Impairment
People with autism have varied communication deficits. Some have difficulty using expressive language speech while others use well-developed speech. They repeat insignificant words or phrases and have problem in understanding receptive language speech. Autistics tend to be confused with sounds of different words and may have difficulty understanding certain objects with more than one meaning, for example, toilet bowl, soup bowl. Those with well-developed expressive language will also have difficulty with sarcasm, humor and irony elements.
Furthermore, autistics often have significant trouble with modulating their voice tone and putting expressions into what they say. They often sound robotic and say everything with a humming monotone. They can sometimes emphasize the intonation of certain words with pointless force. They often stay too quiet and sometimes, are too loud.
- Non-Verbal Communication Impairment
Communication is more than just verbal speech. Non-verbal communication is a vital facet of human interaction to proceed smoothly. People with autism have difficulty understanding non-verbal communication and are not able to interpret facial expression or use it themselves. They may also display odd and unusual body postures and gestures.
- Thinking and Behaving Impairment
Children with autism lack the ability to play or imagine.Repetitive and stereotype activities and movements also go along with this condition. Autistic children often jump up and down, and like to make loud noises without any reason. They have a strong need for a consistent and same routine, and become unsettled when routine changes.
There are several treatment options to effectively deal with autism. However, education and early intervention are critically important factors in the treatment of the disorder. Children with autism can improve over years but the condition will always be there no matter how seemingly they have become like others.