Essay on Causes and Effects of Autism

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George Washington University
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Autism has become a common phenomenon; many people have been affected by autism whether directly or indirectly. More people are engaged in awareness of autism so as to achieve a better life and reduce stigma faced by autistic children and adults. Autism is a neurobiological disorder characterized by the lack of social skills, difficulties in communication and imagination (Bhat, 2014). The disorder occurs due to abnormal wiring between different regions of the brain. It is a syndrome where an individual isolates himself/herself from interactions surrounding them. It is evident that autism has been on the rise within the past few years. It is more common in boys as compared to girls because they are about five times more prone. The reason as to why it is more prevalent among boys than girls is because boys have the XY chromosome and girls have XX chromosome. Since the mutation is found on the X chromosome, it is recessive in females (Bhat, 2014). Autism is easily observed in children from the age of 18 24 months. It has no cure, but one can lead a near normal life if well managed.

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One of the most frequently asked questions is the cause of autism. There are various causes which include: connectivity of the brain, genetic and chromosomal variations, and environmental factors (Baird, 2003). Gene expressions are different due to environmental toxins or copy number variations. Most cases of autism are as a result of the de novo copy number variations as compared to de novo mutations. De novo is a gene that plays the role of synaptic development, neuron motility, and axon guidance. Various types of brain cells are responsible for memory and learning thus change in genetic structure lead to disorganization in the brain. Environmental factors such as diesel exhaust, mercury, and radiation have shown to cause autism. Moreover, exposure to some pesticides and some viral infections have been proven to affect the central nervous system of the fetus (Baird, 2003). The neurobiological abnormality affects a collection of nerve fibers which connect the right and left hemispheres of the brain which are responsible for transmission of motor, sensory and cognitive information. Children with Autistic Syndrome Disorder (ASD) have the anomalous connectivity of the brain. Over-connectivity of between neural assemblies or under-connectivity of functional brain regions lead to language impairment and reduced learning rate (Bhat, 2014).

Autism has a wide range spectrum and different people diagnosed with autism display different characteristics. However, the symptoms lie within: impairment of social interaction, communication, and imagination. When it comes to communication, many children with autism are unable to communicate since they do not understand the meaning and purpose of language (Embree, 2004). The language abilities of the children are distinct as there are those who develop normally but there are others who never develop speech but use alternative ways to communicate. These kids have a different imagination from that of normal children and prefer limited change. Rules and regulations provide a structure which makes them comfortable. Children with autism interact in a different way since they do not register other human beings as important. There are those who prefer staying alone and only talk when they require a basic needs (Baird, 2003). Others do not show the interest to socialize but show signs of enjoyment when put together with other kids. The last group are active and would like to socialize but do not know how to express the intention to interact with others. Apart from the three major effects, some children display repetitive patterns as they are afraid of the unpredictability of the future. There are those who are very sensitive especially to sound with those who are affected by some loud sounds. Some children on the autistic spectrum display poor motor skills and could be described as clumsy.

Parents and siblings of autistic children and adults face many challenges. Even before diagnosis, parents go through a lot of stress. They are often worried about their child's development and how to bring the topic to a doctor. Other parents find the process of getting a diagnosis to be long and tiresome (Embree, 2004). Many of the guardians often have many questions for a reason as to why their child has autism, and the fear of stigma is also present. It is evident that an autistic child requires more attention that the normal kids. It may cause other kids to feel not loved by their parents who pay more attention to their sibling. Apart from little attention, the siblings may also be harmed physically by their autistic sibling in an attempt to be friendly. There is also the issue of sharing with their friends about their autistic sibling which may be difficult since they are not aware of how their friends will react. Parents have to be very careful on how they treat their child and often cannot make as many changes to their homes and schedules as they would like (Baird, 2003). Children with autism need to feed on a particular diet and remain under supervision for most of the time. The extra attention incurs costs which include: medication, food, special care, and education. This may put a strain on the individuals around the child.

Despite the lack of a cure, autism is controllable, and some autistic children have grown into responsible adults, who have shed more light on the management of the disorder (Bhat, 2014). It is important to respect and support those on the spectrum as they are fellow human beings. In this way, people will stop the stigma against children with autism give them the love and care they deserve.

Works Cited

Baird, Gillian, Hilary Cass, and Vicky Slonims. "Diagnosis of autism." British Medical Journal 327.7413 (2003): 488.

Bhat, Shreya, et al. "Autism: cause factors, early diagnosis and therapies." Reviews in the Neurosciences 25.6 (2014): 841-850.

Embree, Joanne. "Immunization and autism links: Ethics in research." The Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases 15.2 (2004): 73.

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