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The Puzzle Of Autism

“Autism spectrum disorder(Asd) is just a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. ”1 Some people with the disorder are nonverbal or verbal. Some autistics may not do well in social situations but they might excel in things math and art. Now most autistics don’t like to be treated like they are different. They just want to be like everyone else. They just don’t think the same. They are far more sensitive than normal people(or so they are called). Most people hear the light pur of the fan and the teacher talking but autistics hear it as though all the sounds are mashed together and turned up to max volume.

So they hear a roaring fan, a teacher yelling, their classmates yelling, the slamming of books and the sketch of pencils. All at the same volume, all at once. That is why some autistics act the way they do. Covering their ears and yelling is their way of coping with all that is going on. Autism is very common, about 1 in 68 American children are born under the spectrum each year. Autism affects over three million individuals each year and that is just in America. Some other statistics show that if a mother has one child with autism it is 25-50% more likely to have another child with autism.

I know this very well being friends with many autistics in my area and having two autistic siblings as well. Both of my brothers fall in a different place on the spectrum. So personally I know what it is like to live with people under the spectrum. All of the autistics I know are unique in a way, some are non verbal like my older brother and some act almost like everyone else except they obsess over things like my little brother. Dillan my older brother is a non verbal autistic he does not communicate the way other people do. He uses what are called stims which are just him repeating parts from movies that he has seen.

My other brother Tony has a higher functioning autism. He is a diehard Patriots fan. He has signed posters, his whole room is Patriots merchandise. He love to watch the games and play football video games, the whole deal. If you even mention his team he breaks out into a whole speech about how great the Patriots are at football. It is fun to have the chats but sometimes he can get a little carried away and that is what makes it hard other kids make fun of him for being so passionate about his favorite team. Tony also has a bit of a learning disability.

He is just as smart as the other kids but he has a hard comprehending things. He can read and answer questions about it but his answers are not always clear. Both of them have amazing minds and amazing personalities. They are both super smart and very funny and just all around good kids. No one really knows how autism is caused. Some doctors say it could be the environment the child is in or it could be genetic but no one has discovered yet. Which is quite a surprise because it is so common but autism varies between each individual that could make it a bit harder.

We now know that there is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism. Doctors have however discovered many mutations and rare gene changes. A small number of these are sufficient to cause autism by themselves. Most cases of autism, however, appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development. Autism is commonly diagnosed at two years old. It is the most reliable age for it to be diagnosed but most people see symptoms start to appear earlier. The symptoms are rooted in brain differences that are present much earlier in development.

A child is born with autism just can not be accurately diagnosed until age 2. There is no real medical test to diagnose autism. Instead specially trained physicians and psychologists administer autism-specific behavioral evaluations. Symptoms of autism may not be apparent immediately after birth. Most symptoms that could show a child need to be tested is not making eye contact and not responding to their name those are just a few. Autism has many symptoms some can involve but are not limited to social challenges, repetitive behaviors, Seizure disorders, Sleep Dysfunction, Sensory Processing Problems, Pica.

Social challenges are problems autistics have with talking with other people. Some autistics don’t communicate well. Some don’t talk and some just don’t do well in social situations. Autistics also can have repetitive behaviors which are doing things over and over until the feel necessary. Such as touching a doorknob multiple times or listening to the same part of a movie over and over again. Sleep dysfunction is a problem sleeping. They could wake up every hour or not sleep at all. Many persons with autism have unusual responses to sensory input.

They have difficulty processing and integrating sensory information, or stimuli, such as sights, sounds smells, tastes and/or movement. They may experience seemingly ordinary stimuli as painful, unpleasant or confusing. ” 2 Pica is the tendency of eating things that are not necessarily food. This is normal in most children but with autistics it lasts alot longer than most children. In normal children pica tends to happen from ages of 18 and 24 months, in autistics however it can last up until they are adults. Autistics sometimes need a little bit of help when they are having a sensory overload.

There are things to help them get over a sensory overload. Some autistics love the dark and will use the dark to help themselves calm down, others like pressure so weighted blankets are very useful for autistics. Some autistics are so sound sensitive that they need to wear headphones all the time to muffle the sounds the normal people may not hear. Most of the time when autistics are having sensory overload they want to be alone. It is hard enough for them to process what is happening to start talking to them and trying to make them tell you what’s wrong may make it worse.

All of these things and more can be used to understand autism but every autistic person it different in their own way. That is part of what makes autism such a complicated disorder. Having so many parts and all the unique individuals makes autism very difficult to process, but once someone has been exposed to autism long enough they start to have a deeper understanding of the disorder. Something that is commonly noted is the fact that autistics get bullied more that normal people because they can be considered easier targets. Autistics have feelings just like everyone else and want to be treated as so.

They don’t want to be babied because they don’t talk or because they like children’s movies and things of that sort. Autistics are really just like everyone else. They smile, laugh, cry, and love being around people. Treating them like they are anything different than people is not fair to them they work hard to get good grades in school. Dillan for example outsmarted his whole class in math when he was in the seventh grade. Dillan may not communicate like everyone else but he is just as intelligent as they are. So don’t discriminate they are just like you just a little different.

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