Autism Spectrum Disorder

William Day, Health-2, 10-16-15


A pervasive developmental disorder that can be characterized by severe problems in speech, socialization, and behavior.


A lways

U nique

T otally

I nteresting

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M ysterious


There is no single known cause for Autism Spectrum Disorder (A.S.D.). It is generally accepted that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function. Brain scans show differences in the shape and structure of the brain in children with autism compared to normal children. Although there are no exact causes of A.S.D., there are multiple theories including the links among heredity, genetics and medical problems.The genetic factors are also probably tied to environmental factors, like exposure to toxins. The combination of genetic abnormalities and environmental factors is the most probable causes of autism that research hasn't been able to identify.


According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (N.I.C.H.D.), there are five behaviors that are seen with autistic people:

1.) Does not babble by 12 months

2.) Does not make gestures by 12 months

3.) Does not say single words by 16 months

4.) Does not say two word phrases on his / her own by 24 months

5.) Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age

Gender / Age Specific

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that typically appears before a child reaches the age of 3. Boys are four to five times more likely to get autism than girls. As far as ethnicity and race are concerned, autism doesn’t discriminate. Autism seems to strike all groups.


The word "autism," which has been in use for about 100 years, comes from the Greek word "autos," meaning self. In the 1940s people used the term "autism" to describe people with emotional or social problems. Autism and schizophrenia were linked until the 1960s when people began having a separate understanding of autism with children.

Treatments / Medicines

Although there are no standard medicines in the treatment of autism, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests targeting the main one or two target behaviors. Medicines that are sometimes used to treat behaviors related to autism include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antipsychotic medicines. Selective serotonin helps with depression, anxiety, and obsessive behaviors. SSRIs have side effects, such as weight gain, insomnia, and increased agitation. Although these side effects may sound bad, they can't really compare to those of antipsychotic medicines.


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