Sunday, April 8, 2012

Autism Article

Autism is a disorder in the brain which affects a person's ability to communicate.  Autism also affects the way in which people form relationships and interact socially as well as verbally and nonverbally communicate with others and appropriately respond in their environment.  Typical behaviors of people with autism include repetitive behavior or obsessive interests.  It is the most common of the autism spectrum disorders which also includes asperger syndrome, rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder.  What I found interesting about this article is the fact that no one really knows what causes autism, although it is believed that genetics and environmental factors play some sort of role. It is strongly suggested that some have a genetic predisposition to autism, which can be proved by studying autism in identical twins and how if one twin is affected by autism, there is a ninety percent chance that the other twin will be autistic as well.  Evidence of environmental factors include children who are born more than three months premature, because they have double the expected rate of autism.  Children born with jaundice also have a 67% higher risk of developing autism than those born without it.  However, that is not to say that a child is autistic because of something that the parents did wrong during pregnancy or early years of life.  It is interesting how researchers are still "scratching the surface" on why people are born autistic.

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