Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Emiliano Martinez

1.Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders and its Importance to college students
Autism and Aspergers Importance to Todays college students
In todays world with and increase in developmental disorders such as Autism and Aspergers it is hard or uncomfortable to deal with the unknown. If communities of college students are well informed of these disorders, they can help in the accommodations of the individuals. Living with a disorder can be quiet the burden, the more people know the less disorder becomes a problem in the livelihood of the individual.(Serdmund-Clikeman, 2012)

external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSh-_TYu3UYlWfR3x-3Jx7H30jE55xpGZn05-6z_e1et4-NYjYw
Table of Contents
  1. Background
  2. Autism and Effects on the Brain
  3. Childhood vs. Adulthood
  4. Causes and Treatment
  5. Theories of In-depth Causation
  6. Different Forums of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  7. Aspergers syndrome and why it matters
  8. Conclusion
  9. Bibliography


Background on Autism
  • There is no medical detection or cure for autism
  • Boys are 5 times more likely then girls to have autism
  • Symptoms of Autism, neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior (APA,2012),(Serdmund-Clikeman,2012)

2. Autism and Effects on the Brain
  • Common signs of Autism in children is unable to read social cues, later term speaking abilities, refers to self by name over "I" or "me", Unable to interact with other children, Development of Fragile X syndrome (which causes mental retardation), tuberous sclerosis, epileptic seizures, Tourette syndrome, learning disabilities, and attention deficit disorder. About 20 to 30 percent of children with an ASD develop epilepsy by the time they reach adulthood. (APA,2012), (Levitt,2012),(Kramer,2012),(Heirch,2012)

3. Childhood vs. Adulthood

Childhood:
111020145104-large.jpg
  • No babbling or pointing by age 1
  • No single words by 16 months or two-word phrases by age 2
  • No response to name
  • Loss of language or social skills
  • Poor eye contact
  • Excessive lining up of toys or objects
  • Patient has an inability to understand smiling or social other responsive social interactions with others.

(University of California Los Angeles ,2011) (APA,2013)


Adulthood:
  • Impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • Impaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others
  • Absence or impairment of imaginative and social play
  • Stereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of language
  • Restricted patterns of interest that are abnormal in intensity or focus
  • Preoccupation with certain objects or subjects
  • Inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals.
(University of California Los Angeles ,2012),(APA,2012)

external image brain-fmri-compare_tcm7-96757.jpg
4. Causes, Treatment
  • There is no known single cause for autism, but it is accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function.
  • Fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, congenital rubella syndrome, and untreated phenylketonuria (PKU) are all common traits that increase an individuals likelihood of having autism.(APA,2012)(University Of California-Los Angeles,2012)

5.Theories of Autism Inheritance and Causation.
When discussing Autism it can be broken down into two causes environmental factors and genetic inheritances. These two categories of Autism theories have their own individual patterns and coincidences. In environmental causation it is believed that exposure to toxic metals such as mercury and other toxins will cause brain abnormalities in children. The other aspect of the Autism disorder can be linked back to genetic factors. It has yet to be determined that there is a specific cause for the disease. Scientists understand that it is caused by abnormalities in the genetic code, but no specific gene can be linked to a diagnosis of a root genetic mutation.(Hirsch,2012)


6. Different forums of Developmental Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Autism-Social Interaction, slow brain development
  • Aspergers Syndrome-Strict abnormalities in social abilities, no problems in brain development
  • Rett Syndrome-Common in girls, loss of social skills over time between ages 1-4
  • PDD(Pervasive Developmental Disorder)-Catch Call for individuals with some traits of autism.
(NINDS,2012)

7. Aspergers Syndrome and Why It Matters.Aspergers Syndrome and Why It Matters.
Aspergers Syndrome can be described as a "High Efficiency" forum of Autism. Many individuals dealing with the disease have average to above average intelligences that allow for normal cognitive function. The main focus of the Aspergers Syndrome comes in an impairment of social abilities and social communication skills.
-(NINDS,2012)

Some common signs in individuals with Aspergers:
- Unable to socially communicate, Not because of lack of interest but more in the lack of ability to perform social interactions.
- Limited eye contact with individuals.
- Lack of the understanding of the "give and take" of conversation and other social norms such as empath, humor, irony, sarcasm..etc.
-Mild delays in motor skills, but not to a cognitive disadvantage but more in that one may appear awkward of clumsy.
(NINDS,2013),(Sticher,2013)

An official definition by the DSM-IV describes an individual with Aspergers as a Severe and sustained impairment in social interaction, and the development of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities that must cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning. (Sticher,2012.) Many individuals in todays world live with Aspergers and understanding their hardship will better help us to help those individuals. -(NINDS,2012), (Sticher,2012)

There are many support groups to further help with understanding Aspergers.




8. Conclusion: Feelings and Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders

Autism and Aspergers are major disorders with little information about how they came to be. The only thing we can do as a collegiate community is be well informed and understanding. We should instead celebrate the uniqueness of the individuals not as a disadvantaged person but as a person.

Video Example of Individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder In College

“Autism, is part of my child, it's not everything he is. My child is so much more than a diagnosis.”
S.L. Coelho, The World According to August - One Good Friend




  • University of California-Los Angeles (2011, October 26). Autistic brains develop more slowly than healthy brains, researchers say.
-http://www.apa.org/education/k12/brain-function.aspx