Understanding the Diagnosis, Treatment, and Development of Autism in Children
Three children are diagnosed with autism every hour. In this day and age, there are new medical discoveries every day, whether it is a new sickness, disease or disorder that is discovered or a new cure to a current medical problem. Because of the constant progression, it is imperative that society maintains an awareness of these new discoveries. One disorder that has existed for years, but recently its awareness is rapidly growing, is autism. Autismspeaks.org defines autism as a disorder in brain development that ultimately affects its victims’ everyday social interaction. A more detailed definition was given by Gillian Baird, Hilary Coss, and Vicky Slonims (2003) in their article, “Diagnosis of Autism”:
“Autism is a behaviorally defined disorder, characterized by qualitative impairments in social communication, social interaction, and social imagination, with a restricted range of interests and often stereotyped repetitive behaviors and mannerisms. (p 489)”
Signs of autism are usually shown in early childhood and are recognized if parents are aware of these signs. If a parent notices these signs, he or she should immediately take the child to a psychologist or psychiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. How fast a parent acts in this situation has a large impact on the remainder of the child’s development.
Signs and Diagnosis of Autism
Many symptoms have been linked to autism, and they are most prominent in three areas: behavior, social skills, and speech. A child’s caretakers can observe symptoms in these areas to help in the child’s diagnosis. Parents lack the professional training that behaviorists have, so they will typically only be able to recognize high-frequency behaviors (Zwaigenbaum et. al, 2008). Children with autism tend to act out more than others in school or daycare, and that could serve...