Sheena Floresca Donna Bolima, Instructor Language Arts 12A January 24, 2008

Sheena Floresca Donna Bolima, Instructor Language Arts 12A January 24, 2008

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Sheena Floresca

Donna Bolima, Instructor

Language Arts 12A

January 24, 2008

•A mental health condition that has “varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patters of behavior” (National Institute of Mental Health) (NIMH).

•It’s our new centuries childhood epidemic where “1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism” (Autism Speaks).

•The lack of ability to relate to relate to others:-prefer to be alone

-hard time understanding other people’s gestures and facial expressions

-difficulty managing their emotions, causing random outbursts

•Abnormal behaviors:-banging of their head or pulling their hair

-walking on their tiptoes or freezing in position randomly

-flapping of the arms

•Communication difficulties:-Children with autism may not develop language until 5 or 9 or even their whole lifetime.

-uses only single words or talks in a strange way that’s hard for others to understand

-suffer from echolalia, where you only mimic what you hear

•Other illnesses associated with autism:-sensory problems such as sensitive to noise

-Fragile X syndrome a type of mental retardation

- “1 in 4 children with autism develop seizures

The cause is still UNKNOWN.

There are theories surrounding that the cause may be impairment of brain development and genetics, but further research still needs to be done.

Researchers have found some of the following:

-research from the University of Missouri disproved the theory from 2001 about ethylmercury (RHlg) in thimerosal during pregnancy causes autism.

-new theory from Cambridge University has emerged where experts are linking high level of testosterone (male hormones) in the womb with autism after observing 253 children whose mothers have shown a high level of testosterone.

-using C.Elegan worms as a way to translate the human brain in a simpler form. Experts are slowly understanding the difference between a female or male brain which may help in solving why more boys are affected by autism than girls.

“Autism receives less than 5% of the federal funding devoted to many less prevalent childhood diseases, despite it being more common than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined.”

One of the biggest organization that leads autism research is AUTISM SPEAKS.

-Autism Tissue Research promoted by Autism Speaks have discovered many flaws in an autistic brain that may explain its cause. One is the oversized amygdala(part of the brain that controls emotions) that has large amounts of neurons missing. Another is the high level of oxidative stress in the frontal cortex cerebellum that causes nerve cell dysfunction.

Further research can lead to better treatments as found through brain tissue exploration:

-understanding the GABA(gamma amniobutyric acid) can open doors for therapeutic drug treatments.

-study of protein gene MeCP2 showed that there is a lack of representation of this gene in the cerebral cortex. “This protein could potentially serve as the target of pharmacological intervention strategies.” (Autism Tissue)

-IAN (Interactive Autism Network), an innovative online project designed to accelerated the pace of autism research by linking researchers and families.

Unfortunately there is no cure for autism, but there are treatments available:-educational/behavioral interventions that helps with brain development and social skills through applied behavioral analysis, a structured way to teach children how to normally function in society.

*this can take place at home, the center or at school based programs, depending on the families decision and situation.

* the earlier the child starts this intervention the better

-Prescribed medications such as anti-depressants and anticonvulsant and anti-psychotic drugs.

•“Research indicates that parents of children with autism experience greater stress than parents of children with intellectual disabilities and Down Syndrome.” (Autism Society of America)

-frustrated that they can’t interpret their child’s abnormal actions

-embarrassment of child’s random outbursts and misbehavior in public

-requires 24/7 care and worry about future care taker when they pass

-may ruin marriages because of constant separation to tend to child’s needs

-financial burden because treatments are expensive

•Autism impact on the normal sibling/s:

-difficulty of making friends because ashamed of their brother/sister’s autism

-jealousy because of the extra time that the autistic child receives more than them

-victimized by autistic sibling/s destructive behavior

“An Update on Autism Brain Tissue Research.” Autism Tissue Program. 22 Aug. 2007. Autism Speaks. 05 Dec. 2007 http://www.brainbank.org/0307_AS_ATP_BROCHURE_v5.pdf.

“Autism Fact Sheet.” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 31 July 2007. NINDS. 28 Sep. 2007 http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm.

“Autism; Research results from University of Missouri update knowledge of autism in children.” Genomics & Genetics Weekly. 21 Sep. 2007: 48 Discovery. Proquest. University of Washington, Seattle WA. 14 Sep. 2007.

“Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders).” 14 Mar. 2007. National Institute of Mental Health. 14 Sep. 2007 http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/autism.cfm.

“Autism Spectrum Treatment and Research Center.” ASTAR Center. 2007. 05 Dec. 2007 www.astarcenter.org.

“Autism; Worms take the sniff test to reveal sex differences in brain.” Genomics & Genetics Weekly. 23 Nov 2007: 109. Full Text Periodicals. Proquest. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. 30 Nov 2007.

Cookson, Clive “Autism linked to testosterone levels in womb.” FT.com 12 Sep. 2007: 1. Platinum Full Text Periodicals. Proquest. University of Washington, Seattle, WA. 14 Sep. 2007.

“Facts About Autism.” Autism Speaks. 2007. Autism Speaks Inc. 05 Dec. 2007 http://www.autismspeaks.org/whatisit/facts.php.

“Living with Autism.” The Voice of Autism. Autism Society of America. 28 Sep. 2007 http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_/wa_home.

“What is the IAN Project?” IAN: Interactive Autism Network. 2007. Kennedy Krieger Institute. 05 Dec. 2007 http://www.ianproject.org/.