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How Are Different Treatments Aimed to Help Children with Autism?

  • Date Submitted: 12/14/2011 01:34 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.6 
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Autism is defined by the Oxford Dictionary (2010) as: ‘A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.’ Autism is a disorder of neural development often linked to lack of socialisation and communication. (Stone, 2004, Pg. 14) Children and adults with autism often have restricted and repetitive behaviour. Autism affects information being processed by the brain, It alters how the nerve cells and synapses connect and organise. However, how exactly this occurs is not completely understood.
Autism is one of three categories on the autistic spectrum, the others being aspergers syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD NOS). A diagnosis of PDD NOS is made when the full set of symptoms for either autism or aspergers are not met. Autism affects about five children in every thousand and with proportionally four times as many boys than girls being diagnosed (Sunderland, 2007, Pg. 86).
Children and adults with autism have difficulties with everyday social interactions (Wing, 1996, Pg. 92). Their ability to develop friendships is generally limited, as is their capacity to understand other people’s emotional expressions. People with autism can often have accompanying learning disabilities, but everyone with the condition shares a difficulty in making sense of the world. Sufferers are affected to a hugely varying extent, which is why it is sometimes described as a ‘spectrum disorder’. Autism is at the severe end and is often associated with learning difficulties. Mild versions, without a significant language disorder or learning disability, are often referred to as asperger’s syndrome (Stone, 2004, Pg. 9).
There are three areas of observational symptoms that can characterise autism. This is known as the triad of impairments (Wing & Gould, 1979, Pg. 12). These include: Impaired social interaction; when...

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