Autism spectrum disorder or autism is the general term used to describe a group of complex disorders that affect the brain’s function and its development and the ability for a person to learn and to develop ability to socialize with others (CDC, 2015). Studies show that each child may develop his/her own pattern of autism. However, a child who is diagnosed with autism will have trouble in those areas below: trouble to socially interact or socialize with others, trouble to communicate both verbally and nonverbally, trouble with repetitive and inflexible behaviors, etc. (CDC, 2015)
Despite many studies and researches, experts have not been able to find the proper cause of autism. However, many studies have shown that there is no one single cause to autism. Autism can be caused by a range of issues that are both genetics and environmental that have serious influence on the brain development, such as, rare gene changes or mutations that are associated with autism. According to experts, a small number of these mutations or gene changes are sufficient enough for an individual to develop autism (Autism Speaks, 2014).
Stress is also suspected as one of the cause of autism. According to research, stressful events during and after the pregnancy raise the risk of the baby to develop autism (CDC, 2015). Other risk factors can be advance parental age at time of conception. This means the older the parents are the likelier it is for the baby to develop autism spectrum disorder (CDC, 2015). Maternal Illnesses during pregnancy is also seen as one of the cause of autism. Difficulties during birth such as those involved oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain, etc. (CDC, 2015). And finally, family autism history as well (CDC, 2015).
It is estimated that over 3 million individuals here in the U.S. have autism and 10 million worldwide, and this number is only growing. According to centers for disease control (CDC), in a study conducted on 8 years old children that represent every ethnic group, gender, and every socioeconomic background; it is believed that 1 out 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (CDC, 2015). The same research also show that boys are more likely to develop autism than girls. In fact, in every 42 boys 1 of them will develop autism, while for girls the total is much lower; 1 in every 189 girls (CDC, 2015).
Studies show that Caucasian children are more likely to develop autism more than any other ethnic group. In fact, for white children it is estimated that 1 out of 63 will be diagnosed with autism, while for Black children, it is estimated 1 out of 81. For Hispanic children the probability is much lower, 1 out 93 (CDC, 2015). No information was given on the reason why autism has more effects on White children than any other race. However, studies have also shown that both black and Hispanic children who are diagnosed with autism are more likely to develop learning disabilities than white children (CDC, 2015).
There is not a “one size fits all” treatment model for autism. Treating autism involves a range of home-based and school-based treatments and interventions that can help maximize the child’s ability to learn, to function, and his development. They also help reduce the symptoms. Treating autism can sometimes be overwhelming for both the parents and the child. The earlier the better it is to ASD. However, some of the treatment options may include; behavior and communication therapies, educational Therapies, family Therapies, medications (Mayo Clinic, 2015).
Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to prevent autism as a society. However, as mentioned previously, it can be treated with professional help and a good support system that can help both the patient and his/her family to cope with the autistic disorder. Some of the ways we can do something as a society to prevent autism is by providing those following thing to those who have them: School-Based Counseling, group Psychotherapy, social Training Skills , train parents in behavior therapy (Argosy University, 2015).
Argosy University (2015). Autism Spectrum Disorders and Childhood-Onset Schizophrenia. Data Retrieved on 02/21/2015, from: https://digitalbookshelf.argosy.edu/#/books/9781285310244/pages/63858554?return=/books/9781285310244/outline/10
CDC (2015). Facts about Autism. Data Retrieved on 02/21/2015, from: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html
Mayo Clinic (2015). Autism Spectrum Disorder. Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments. Data Retrieved on 02/21/2015, from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/autism-spectrum-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021148