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Detecting Autistic Spectrum Disorders In An Early Stage Is Of Great Importance

Sep 5, 2008
It was not until the mid 20th century that the world became aware that autistic spectrum disorders existed. In 1943, Dr. Leo Kanner began to study a group that included 11 children and labeled the disorder that affected them as being what we know today as autism. At the same time, Dr. Hans Asperger, a German scientist, was describing a milder disorder within the same spectrum known as Asperger syndrome.

Today, we know it to be one of five developmental disorders that are often referred to as the autism spectrum disorders. Each illness in the autism spectrum will vary in degrees, with regard to an individual's impairment. The impairments include problems with communication skills, the inability to socially interact with others and behavior patterns that are both restrictive and repetitive.

The parents of a child are normally the first to notice the signs of an autistic spectrum disorder. These disorders can actually rear their heads before the child is even three years of age. Children who have autism spectrum disorders do not act like other children.

They may be withdrawn socially and may stare off into space and not respond when their name is called. However, there are instances of the disorder not showing up until later, such as when a child, who once acted as a normal toddler, suddenly begins to show signs.

Disorders may range from the milder form in the autism spectrum, normally referred to as Asperger syndrome, to a more severe form known as an autistic disorder. There is also high functioning autism, which shows symptoms very close to Asperger syndrome. If a child seems to have symptoms of autism, either the mild or the more sever form, yet does not fall under a certain criteria for one of these disorders, then they are normally diagnosed with a pervasive developmental disorder.

While it may not be a concern if a child is showing signs of delayed development, they should be evaluated by a doctor. It is important to let your physician know if you see any developmental delays in your child. If they do indeed have one of the disorders within the autistic spectrum, then there are steps that can be taken to help the child increase their development and also help the family to deal with the disorder.

Even after an autism spectrum disorder is found, individuals can, in many cases learn to be functioning individuals; however, if the disorder is disregarded and nothing is done, then there is a possibility of severe delays in both communication and social skills. It is always important when any developmental delays seem apparent that the child's physician be consulted.
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