Can you imagine trying to communicate your feelings to someone with only a few sounds, gestures, and pictures? This is they way many individuals communicate because of a disorder called autism. Autism is a developmental disability of the brain, which can cause people to have trouble processing social interactions, handling multiple stimuli and dealing with change. This lifelong disability usually appears during the first few years of life and occurs in approximately five out of every 10,000 births, it is four times more common in males than females. According to the Autism Society of America, there are more than 400,000 Americans, who have some form of autism. Autism may be noticed in infancy as impaired attachment, but it is more often identified in toddlers, when parents or pediatricians note an absence or delay of speech development and a lack of normal interest in others or a regression of early speech and sociability. Autistic traits persist into adulthood, but the outcomes of the disorder vary from little or no speech and poor daily living skills throughout life to high achievement of college degrees and independent functioning. .
Although no two autistic individuals are alike, there are some common behaviors, such as rocking, humming, spinning or repeating certain phrases that are identified. The main symptoms of autism are deficits in sociability, reciprocal verbal and nonverbal communication, and behavioral problems. Autism may be noticed very early in a person's life. Due to our increased knowledge and technology autism is becoming easier to detect and treat. As time passes and people are more aware of what autism is and how it needs to be treated, I feel individuals with autism will benefit from our increased knowledge. .
Many autistic individuals are seen doing the same thing over and over. These behaviors are often non-goal directed and can be harmful to ones self.