The Hallmark Feature of Asd Essay

3262 Words Oct 23rd, 2012 14 Pages

Autism - Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of neurodevelopment disorders characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and repetitive patterns of behavior. These signs usually begin before a child is three years old. Some parents report the change as being sudden, and that their children start to reject people, act strangely, and lose language and social skills they had previously acquired. In other cases there is a plateau of progress so that the difference between the child with autism and other children the same age becomes more noticeable. It is important to note that not all signs of autism appear in all autistic children. The degrees in which they appear may vary as well. But
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RESEARCH NOT CLEARCUT…SOME CONFIRMS AND SOME DOES NOT - In one study researchers asked individuals with autism and a control group to observe and execute different hand movements while being scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The fMRI measurements allowed the researchers to examine the strength of neural responses in mirror system areas of each group during movement observation and execution. Their results showed that the mirror system responses of individuals with autism were, therefore, equivalent to those commonly reported (and observed here) for controls.

- The number of people diagnosed with autism has increased dramatically in the past decade, most likely due to changes in diagnostic practice. It was not until 1980 that the diagnosis of autism was formalized. In 1994, the diagnosis changed again. Kids diagnosed with autism from 1980 through 1993 had to meet six mandatory criteria. The new 1994 definition offered 16 optional criteria, only eight of which had to be met.

- Identical twin studies show that if one twin is affected, there is nearly a 90 percent chance the other twin will be affected. Such a high genetic contribution is unusual when considering complex behaviors. This is probably because a relatively small number of genes may be involved in autism (but certainly

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