Definition: Autistic disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive or stereotyped behavior. Autistic disorder is an affect on information processing within the brain, altering the reaction of nerve cells and how they connect and organization information. How this is actually occurring is not well understood yet. In most cases, Autism is seen in children before the age of 3 if proper testing is completed by stated age.
Autistic Disorder Signs
There are many indications of autism early on in a child’s life and development. First is the delayed speech or even lack of speech altogether. This is possibly the biggest and strongest sign of autism or Kanner’s syndrome. Next are repetitive movements of their body parts. Whether the part of the body is the head, arms, or feet, repetitive and same movement motions is another strong indication of autism.
Later on in a child’s life if they experience impaired social skills, the child may be slightly or even completely autistic. They tend to shy away from those they are completely unfamiliar with and even have a hard time socializing with those close to them. Having a limited interest in activities or playing with toys can be another sign of autism. Children who are autistic will often show these signs early on in their development.
Understanding the background as well as the signs of autism is extremely important. There is no doubt that autism is affecting a large population of today’s youth, and is something that should be taken very seriously. With early detection help for both the child and the parents can seek any medical attention or guidance needed to understand the changes that the autistic child will go through in his or her development.
Key Symptoms of Autism:
- Minimized verbal communication skills (eye contact, vocal communicating, facial expression)
- Inability to establish friendships in age group
- Lacking in sharing
- Lacking of empthy
- Unusual focus on objects
- Requirement of structured routine
- Stereotyped physical behaviors (as in body rocking, self hitting and hand flapping)
These are just some of the symptoms commonly seen in those with Autistic disorder.
History of Autism
Since the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, studies in regard to Kanner’s Syndrome in both Australia and America were conducted at the same time. The unusual behaviors in children were somewhat of a puzzle to two scientists. Unknown to them, they were both coming to the same conclusions but they were also using the same words in the way of describing the happenings and behaviors of the children. Ironically enough they were both using the same word, autism, even though the degree of behaviors they were both seeing differed vastly in way of severity.
The scientist known as Dr. Leo Kanner dubbed the disorder he was researching Kanner syndrome, otherwise known as autism. While it is more common to hear the term autism or autistic, Kanner Syndrome is still a widely used name today. In the 1940’s, Dr. Kanner was conducting research with a large group of children many thought were exhibiting the signs and symptoms of the condition known as schizophrenia. Delving much deeper into his research he found that the children were not actually showing signs of schizophrenia, but something entirely different. Autism was the term used to affiliate the conditions with the new disorder he had discovered.
To this day, Kanner’s breakthrough in way of autism and its signs or symptoms hold true today. The earliest conclusions of his research are also still true to this day. Throughout the 1950’s and the 1960’s children were being properly diagnosed with autism due to Kanner’s earlier discoveries. A research paper on his works was being published throughout the world, in English, making it easier for more to learn about this new condition. Due to his work and research, more children around the world were being treated properly for their conditions rather than being labeled as something they were not and receiving detrimental treatments.