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Thoughts Regarding Autism Spectrum Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Of these rare neurological disorders, Autism is the most common. The autism
spectrum reflects the broad range of symptoms in which the names of these autism
disorders have been given their own name for their disorder.

Autism is a disability that is suspected to be caused possibly by a brain


development disorder of unknown etiology. Others suspect the cause is some sort
of neurological dysfunction- possibly with a genetic predisposition. Autism is about
3 times more common in males than females as well, and it is unclear as to why this
occurs.

Usually, symptoms of the disease present themselves before the toddler reaches
the age of three. Before Autism was more understood, others inaccurately labeled
autistic people as childhood schizophrenia or as having a psychosis or mental
retardation.

Symptoms of the autistic patient included limited or dysfunctional social and


personal or intimate relationships with others, their intelligence is affected, and the
autistic person typically is adverse to change. Also, the autistic person tends to be
compulsive and prefers to be alone. They lack eye contact as much as physical
contact with other people.

Out of over two dozen diagnostic criteria utilized for these disorders, eight must be
present to be considered autistic, according to the DSM. As with all passive
developmental disorders, the person expresses language, social, and behavioral
difficulties.

Treatment includes what are called psychotropic medications that delay the
progression of the disorder, as well as relieve some of the symptoms of one who is
autistic. Behavioral therapy is common as a treatment regimen as well. Boys get
Autism much more than girls.

Then there is the controversy between many who claim that thimerosal- a
preservative containing mercury, which is a neurotoxin that was used in vaccines
until 2001, was the catalyst for autism in children.

Over 5000 lawsuits have been filed because of this belief, and some have been
successful for the plaintiff. Yet most agree the correlation between thimersaland
autism is void of scientific merit. Furthermore, the cases of autism have not
decreased since the preservative was discontinued in 2001.

Aside from Autism, the other four passive developmental disorders are known as
autism spectrum disorders.

Asperger’sSyndrome is more common than autism, and the symptoms are milder,
as there is minimal delay in language abilities, if at all. What is expressed with
Asperger’ssyndrome is mild autistic symptoms. In time, the patient may express
atypical personality disorders, though.

While intelligence is within normal limits with the Asperger’s patient, social
interactions and abilities preset difficulty for such a patient. As with Autism,
medications and behavioral therapy are treatment regimens with one with this
syndrome

Rett’sSyndrome or disorder presents with not only atypical behavior, but also
suffers from restricted physical growth and movement. There is cognitive and social
impairment as well. The disorder affects mostly girls, and the cause is due to a
gene mutation.

Childhood Disintegrative disorder is rare, and is 10 times less common than autism.
The disorder has a late onset with mild autistic symptoms. The disorder affects
mostly boys, and regression is sudden and possible with this disorder. Skills lost
with this disorder may be language, social, self-care, as well as play or motor skills.
Decreased function or impairment with this disorder may include social skills and
behavioral flaws. Central Nervous System pathology is a suspected cause of this
disorder.

Finally, there arepassive development disorders that are not otherwise specified.
This may include atypical autism, for example. Yet as with the rest of types of these
disorders, the symptoms vary in their frequency and intensity, as well as the range
of abilities of these developmental disorders vary widely as well.

Medicinal treatment is believed to be not necessary for the management of all of


those who may have autistic spectrum disorders. Depending on the patient’s health
care provider, medications may be prescribed by their doctor to manage any
affective disorders autistics may present in an acute or chronic nature. However,
cognitive and behavioral therapy prove to be most beneficial for all the different
types of Passive Development Disorders that exist for reasons yet to be defined.

www.autism-society.org

Dan Abshear