The Evolution of Autism

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Autism is a neurobiological disorder that results in difficulty communicating with anyone and social impairments. The first discovery of autism was by Leo Kanner in 1943 ( Lyons, V., and M. Fitzgerald).

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Over time the definition of autism has changed with new discovers. Up unit the 1970s autism was thought to be no more than a symptom of schizophrenia (Martin). Disorders such as epilepsy and down syndrome can occur. Everyone is different when it comes to what disabilities they have and what ones they do not have. 1910 was the very first time that any mention of autism had every appeared in medical literature (Martin). Autism did not become a disability legally until 1991. There is no medical testing that can be done to diagnose autism. Symptoms include avoiding eye contact, being very sensitive, and repetition. Developmental screening and comprehensive diagnostics can be used to diagnose, but some doctors like to use mu- wave suppressions.

Developmental screenings sees if the child knows skills that are appropriate for their age. This type of screening should be conducted at nine months, eighteen months, and between twenty four and thirty months old. Comprehensive diagnostic exam checks the comprehension of the child, the child’s behavior and development. During this exam there is vision and hearing screening, genetic and neurological testing, etc (“Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)”). A diagnosis can occur at eighteen months or younger. The most reliable diagnosis is made around the age of two. Other testing will be performed if the child is related to someone who has autism because they have a higher risk of having autism.

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