This is the final part of a 3 part story about our Asperger's story. We had recently commenced seeing a Counsellor as we could not understand Jess' behaviour.
The counsellor recommended that we see a Psychologist that she had a lot of time for. He specialised in a treatment called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. The therapy is based around helping you understand, manage and change your thoughts (cognitions) and actions (behaviour). This form of therapy has been shown to be very effective for a whole range of things but is particularly effective if you have depression or anxiety.
Exactly what is meant by the term Autism Spectrum Disorder? This term actually refers to a group of disorders that are Autistic-based.
The next question naturally is, what are the Autism Spectrum Disorders? This is a great question, as many of us have never even heard of ASD and really know next-to-nothing about it. It is actually far more pervasive than you might think. For every 1,000 children, there are around 3.4 children that are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Based on the U.S. Department of Education's 2002 report to Congress on IDEA the number of students with autism in U.S. schools has increased by 1354% in an eight-year period from 1991-1992 to 2000-2001 (as cited by the Autism Society of America, 2003). This increase is almost fifty times higher than all disabilities (excluding autism), which has increased in the U.S. by 28.4%.
Autism refers to a brain disorder, which typically affects a child's ability to communicate, form relationships, and respond appropriately to the environment. While some people suffering from Autism are relatively high functioning, there are others who are mentally retarded, have serious language delays, or are mute.
The actual cause of Autism is not known. But Autism is relatively easy to spot, and children as young as 18 months start showing symptoms. It is futile to believe that children will just grow out of it.
Maybe It's Not Autism?
Most would agree that public awareness and access to medical information is critical to public health. Destigmatizing mental illness and focusing attention on under-diagnosed problems has been a particularly important stride of the past 30 years. Yet sometimes, publicity leads to anxiety. As an acquaintance said, "if the disease-of-the-week doesn't kill me, the worry will."
Recently, a parent contacted me with concerns about his 7 year-old son, who was quiet, introverted, and highly focused on a few hobbies. "Could he be autistic?," he asked.
Do you know children affected with autism find it difficult to communicate and to become socialized? There are two notions about the existence of autism. One thought is that autism is due to a bio-chemical imbalance, and the other notion is it is a psychological disorder. The autism-affected children seldom communicate with others except to fulfill their needs.
Autism spectrum disorders can be called an umbrella term since it covers classic autism, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), and Asperger's syndrome.
Do you know autism affects male children four times more than female children? The characteristic feature of autism in children includes non-verbal and impaired verbal communication. In addition to this the autism in children creates imaginative social interaction and activity. Infantile autism in children develops at about 30 months of age. Autism in children is a condition in which they find it difficult to build normal relationships with others.
Autism is a dreadful disorder, which affects an individual's ability to communicate and associate with others. Generally the symptoms are detected in the first three years of the child's life. In the United States, 1 in 166 people are affected by this disease.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) cover a variety of behaviors and abilities and are caused by abnormal brain development. While ASDs begin when the individual is a child, they will last throughout the individual's life. Most individuals with ASDs will display a lack of social skills, as well as communication skills. While these individuals with ASDs may have a variety of different behaviors, each individual is unlike another. While the symptoms may be severe in one individual, they may be very mild in another.
Ask any parent and they'll tell you that parenting a child is the most difficult task they've ever encountered. They'll also tell you it's the most rewarding. Parenting a child with autism, however, can be a little more stressful. It can also be just as rewarding. The key to bringing up bright and happy children with Autism is to love and nurture them, as you would any child.
Once your child has been diagnosed with autism, you may at first go through a typical sort of panic mode.