Autism is brain disarray that affects and prejudices a person's ability to communicate, socially interact, form relationships and respond appropriately within an environment. There are several characteristics of these circumstances and some include: avoiding eye contact, remaining fixated on a particular activity or object, apparently deaf, insensitivity to pain, physical aggression and/or outbursts in case of environment change, lack of environment consciousness, self mutilation, sensitivity to touch, withdrawal from people and impaired communication among others. This condition is largely caused by anomalous brain activity which, although under ongoing research, may pertain to cells drifting to the wrong place in the brain (Block 1995).
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Research continues to establish the causes of autism. These studies are focusing at various parts of the brain and their functioning compared to a "typical" child. Scientists have developed some hypothesis, which include the following:
- Brain cells may drift to the wrong place in the brain that might affect communication skills. (Parietal area of brain controls communication.)
- Scientists have found impairments of the amygdale in autistic children. The area known as the amygdale helps adjust social and emotional behavior.
- Research has established that individuals with autism may have elevated levels of the neurotransmitter serotonins. Since neurotransmitters are accountable for the passage of nerve impulses to the brain, these chemical disparities could disfigure sensations in individuals with autism (Ami and Fred 1995).
Autism as defined earlier represents the state of an individual's brain disorder that distorts the ability to communicate, relate well and respond to the immediate environment, develop proper social interactions, form and sustain relationships with others.
Mostly, Autistic symptoms are evident when the child is below three years of age. It's worth noting that, the disability condition affects the normal functioning level and capacity of an individual in several diverse ways. Language delays and serious mental retardation are some common features that children experience when the condition is so severe. Other manifestation includes high body functioning where a child speaks very fast and in most cases they are very intelligent (Raymond and Thomas 2003).
Autism spectrum disorder may be manifested in several ways as discussed earlier. The most common way in which it affects individuals is the Asperger Syndrome which is manifested in difficulties socializing with others hence having very low social interaction skills. These victims are also inhibited with repetitive and restricted patterns of interests and behaviors especially while relating with others. The cognitive development and linguistic developments distinguishes Asperger Syndrome from other forms of autism spectrum disorders. Besides these characteristics, it's also accompanied by other physical characteristics which though don not require diagnosis including; typical use of language and physical clumsiness (Laurie and Cassandra 2004).
This naming was after a Australian pediatrician Hans Asperger who described the child's difficulty breathing and nonverbal communication in his practice in 1944.
Mostly children diagnosed with these syndromes experienced difficulties with the development of their verbal and non - verbal communication characteristics. These children as observed by Hans had little or none empathy with their colleagues and peers besides been physically gauche (Block 1995).
Research has been continuously conducted to establish the real and exact cause of this syndrome without success but its cause is still unknown although there is likely of genetic basis offering a reasonable explanation for its genesis. When brains are studies probably to an explanation, the results indicates that brain imaging patterns and techniques do not identify and realize a common pathology. Researchers and practitioners have not identified a single or multiple treatment and cure for the condition but the effectiveness of a specific intervention is highly dependent on the limited data that is available. The functioning and symptoms of the syndrome are however minimized by the earlier intervention measures instituted at early stages of a child's development (Ami and Fred 1995).
These early interventions are classified and categorized as behavior therapy, repetitive or obsessive routines, narrowing down on specific inadequacies to address poor and undeveloped communication skills, as well as physical clumsiness. Mostly, those children who have undergone this early intervention mechanisms and measures although have not completely healed have shown great symptoms of improvements. However, these characteristics of the syndrome still continue up to adulthood with difficulties in social interactions, communication difficulties and independent lifestyle continues up to adulthood of a personality. Due to its difficult in curing despite several early intervention measures instituted, the problem still persists and numerous researchers have advocated for the drift from concentration of disability to growth difference and treated instead and cured instead of prevention intervention measures (Laurie and Cassandra 2004).
Social interactions in children with Asperger Syndrome
The demonstration of lack of empathy for children suffering from Asperger syndrome forms the most dysfunctional component of the syndrome. The victims usually have difficulties in the fundamental elements forming social interactions which are vital components including failure to share enjoyment with others of the same age metes, failure to develop friendship ties with others or even abstinence from association with achievements with others as well as demonstrating interests with others or even objects, lack of emotional or social reciprocity accompanied by under - developed non - verbal behaviors with impairments in vital parts like facial expression, eye contact, gestures and posture (Raymond and Thomas 2003).
The advantage with the Aspergers syndrome is that, they are not withdrawn from the rest of societal members but the intervention measures are administered amidst them. Although awkwardly behaving, their emotional and social alignments are not a threat to other societal members, for instance, they may engage in long one sided discussion concerning a similar concept. They are not also concerned with their listener's feelings and reactions concerning their discussions and talking such as right for privacy of leave but instead want to be listened to.
The state of social awkwardness of these victims sometimes is referred to as active but odd. Other people view and consider this behaviors of failure to react and respond appropriately to social interactions as a disregard to their feelings and sometimes cause insensitivity (Block 1995).
Children suffering from Aspergers syndrome have cognitive ability which allows enables them to articulate and express social norms in the society in a laboratory context where they greatly uses the theoretical understanding related to other people's emotions. However despite their abilities to utilize these characteristics, they have typical difficulties acting and coding the knowledge associated with fluid and real life situations. These people usually used behavioral guidelines when they analyze and distill their observations and knowledge concerning social interactions into rigid characteristics therefore applying those rules in an awkward manner which appears to be socially naïve (Raymond and Thomas 2003).