Even before the discovery of the patterns and syndromes of autism, there have been people already affected by this disorder and were first thought to be mentally retarded or insane. Then Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins University, basing his discovery from the children he observed between 1938 and 1943, studied and recorded the patterns of the syndrome and incorporated the term autism.
During the 1940’s children with autism were thought to be schizophrenic. Until further research, studies and discoveries were made in the following years. Now, there have been proven facts giving the people knowledge providing a better understanding of the disorder. Thus helping the parents and families cope with it. Medical studies have created tools to help in the development and improvement in the lives of the children suffering form autism. (History of autism)
"Autism is a common disorder of childhood. Yet, it often remains unrecognized and undiagnosed until or after late preschool age because appropriate tools for routine developmental screening and screening specifically for autism have not been available. Early identification of children with autism and intensive, early intervention during the toddler and preschool years improves outcome for most young children with autism.” (Abstract of Practice parameter: Screening and diagnosis of autism. Neurology 2000, 55: 468-79.)
Autism is a complex disability which is caused by neurological disorder. It affects the normal functioning of the brain which impairs normal development in the areas of social interaction and communication. Usually appears in the first three years of life and is a lifelong disability.
Sometimes referred to as ASD or autism spectrum disorder. Those suffering from Autism would show difficulty in verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction. (What is Autism?)
The characteristics of autism differ from person to person but generally there would
be difficulty with social communication, social interaction and social imagination. People with autism have difficulties with both verbal and non-verbal language. They have the inability to understand. Some are unable to speak or may have a limited speech.
They have difficulty recognizing or understanding other people's emotions and feelings. There is also a love of routine. When they tend to do things on a fixed routine or repetitive behavior. They may also experience sensor sensitivity, which can affect one or more of the five senses, sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. And they can sometimes have special interest which may sometimes be unusual. Autism can also affect their learning abilities. (Symptoms and diagnosis)
According to the Autism Society of America, Autism is only one of the five Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD); a neurological disorder characterized by severe and pervasive impaired development or delayed development of communication and social skills.
The five disorders categorized under Pervasive Developmental Disorder of PDD are, Autistic Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD),
Autistic Disorder, the most well known PDD, is a disorder also known as autism is a neurological and developmental disorder A child with autism appears to live in his/her own world, shows little interest in others, lacks social awareness, and has a consistent routine, have problems in communication.
Asperger syndrome is the type of PDD characterized by poor social interactions, obsessions, odd speech patterns, and other peculiar mannerisms. It is a high functioning form of autism in children who have high IQ’s. Children suffering from AS have obsessive routines and have unusually sensitive senses.
They may also show signs of delays in motor skills, clumsiness, limited interest on things and people, inappropriate or minimal social interactions.
Conversations almost always revolving around self rather than others, "scripted," "robotic," or repetitive speech, lack of "common sense", problems with reading, math, or writing skills, obsession with complex topics such as patterns or music, average to above-average verbal cognitive abilities, average to below-average nonverbal cognitive abilities, awkward movements, odd behaviors or mannerisms.(Asperger Syndrome)