Dr. Jane Levinson
1 May, 2014
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism is a disorder that affects the nervous system. All people who suffer from autism all have basic characteristics like difficulty with any kind of social interactions both verbal and non-verbal and they engage in repetitive behaviors and a small list of interests. These characteristics range from being very intense and noticeable to miniscule and barely recognizable. Since there is such a wide range of severity it is called the Autism Spectrum Disorder, each person is different and vary on the spectrum. There are people from very high-functioning who may not know they are autistic to the ones who cannot function without help.
The different ways autism is caused and the affects it has on the brain are not clear and they explanations they give are only theories. They have too many nerve connections because their brains do not prune or reshape the unnecessary pathways. This causes over connectivity that leads to inappropriate behaviors learning and seizures, instead of A-B-C their pathways are more like A-I-B-J-C. There are irregularities in different brain structures such as the amygdala, which affects emotions and social behavior, and the cerebellum that is involved in motor activity, balance, and coordination. Another major factor is an imbalance or two neurotransmitters called serotonin which effects emotion and glutamate, which has a role in neuron activity. The mirror neurons in the brain do not develop correctly; these neurons play a role in understanding other people and imitation.
Because of the way a brain of someone with autism is causes different symptoms and affects different body systems. Social interactions are complicated and obscure for someone on the autistic spectrum. They have a hard time understanding and interpreting what other people are feeling and social cues like smiles and body language. “To a person who misses these social cues, a...