There are many diseases and disorders that plague today's society, but one of the.
most serious of those disorders is autism. Autism is not nearly as widely known as the.
familiar Down's Syndrome, yet, surprisingly, autism is far more widespread. In fact,.
autism is the third most common developmental disability, affecting 400,000 people.
worldwide (Autism Society of America). .
Autism is "a syndrome of childhood characterized by a lack of social relationship,.
a lack of communication abilities, persistent compulsive, rituals, and resistance to.
change" (Paluszny 1). For centuries, medical professionals have tried to understand.
autism and its origin. Autism is a developmental disability, not a mental illness, that.
typically appears during the first three years of life and affects 15 of every 10,000.
individuals. No one is certain why it occurs, but researchers have found that MRI.
(Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans of people with autism show abnormalities in the.
structure of the brain. Significant abnormalities include differences in the cerebellum and.
in the size and number of Purkinje cells within the brain. Sometimes there is a pattern.
that exists within families from generation to generation. This indicates the possibility.
that autism is genetically related. However, no gene has been found.
Every person with autism is different and there is no set type or typical person.
with autism. This is because autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that symptoms and.
characteristics of the disorder can present themselves in a variety of ways, from mild to.
severe. Usually children with autism have deficiencies in both verbal and non-verbal.
communication. Their language develops slowly or not at all and they have very short.
attention spans. They often lack social skills and will spend time alone, rather than with.
others. In more severe cases, children have unusual reactions to physical sensations such.
as being overly sensitive to touch or under responsive to pain.