Disorders Paper

2036 Words Nov 17th, 2013 9 Pages

Autism Autism it is a serious disorder that begins in infancy and is characterized by abnormal social development, impaired language and communication, and repetitive behavior. The diagnosis of autism is based on “observed behavior and educational and psychological testing (Autism Speaks).” When trying to determine whether a child is autistic or not there are a number of signs that parents and observers can watch for. Children that have poor eye contact, little interest in other people, and do not respond to their name are considered to be autistic. Other signs involve the child having trouble with their speech. This could mean no babbling or no speech at all by 16 months. If a child does not gesture or point at things as in
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A large amount of autistic children display neurological abnormalities. According to Singleman and Rider, it was once hypothesized that neurons in the frontal cortex proliferate wildly during the early sensitive period for the brain development but do not become properly interconnected. Almost all dysfunctions that pertain to an autistic child involve some form of mental processing. This then leads to the mirror neuron simulation hypothesis which is another possible cause of autism. This view seems to direct the cause to malfunctions of mirror neuron systems. If there are problems associated with this system in a variety of areas in the brain then this could be the reason why autistic patients have trouble with imitation, theory-of-mind skills, empathy, and language. Mirror neuron systems provide us with the ability to read other people’s feelings and thoughts by comparing them to our own feelings and thoughts that we have experienced. By doing this there is a connection made between you and the other person. “In one study (Mclntosh et al.,2006), autistic and non-autistic adults watched pictures of happy and angry facial expressions so that the researchers could see if their faces automatically and subtly mimicked the expressions that they saw (Carol K. Singleman, Elizabeth A. Rider).” This allows researchers to see how mirror neurons allow individuals to simulate other people’s emotions. Autistic children can display this when their asked to do so, but they

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