Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

This disorder affects the nervous system

What is ASD?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a disorder that affects a persons social and language skills. It is a spectrum disorder because some people's symptoms are more severe than others. This is because the brain is so complex that every one on the Autism Spectrum can have different affects on people.
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What Autism Feels Like (School Version)

What systems are affected?

There is only one system affected by having Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is the nervous system since this disorder affects the brain. New research is suggesting that this disorder effects the entire brain.

Target Popluation

You are usually diagnosed with as a child under 4 years old. Boys are five times more likely to be on the Autism Spectrum than girls. About 1 in every 68 children will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
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How the System Usually Works and How it Affects the System

The Nervous System normally works by the the brain sending and receiving signals to and from the rest of the body. When you have ASD, the different parts of your brain have a hard time working together to solve complex problems. Doctors used to think that having Autism Spectrum Disorder only affected the frontal lobe (which controls social and language skills), but new research shows that being on the spectrum affects the whole brain.

Onset of Autism Spectrum Disorder

You are born with Autism Spectrum Disorder, you can't "catch" it by being around someone with the disorder. Your genetics are about 40% responsible for having Autism Spectrum Disorder. New studies are showing that environmental factors could be responsible for more than 50% responsible for the Autism Spectrum Disorder risk. Also, if your parents are older when then have a kid, that kid is more likely to be on the Autism Spectrum.

The Diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder

There is no one true diagnosis for Autism Spectrum Disorder. But, with the collaboration of several health professionals such as psychologists, neurologists, speech therapists, psychiatrists, and developmental pediatricians, they can usually determine if a child is on the spectrum. To determine wether a child has ASD, they compare there levels of development to other children of the same age. The sooner you know if you're child has Autism Spectrum Disorder, and the sooner you can start treatment, the better. Autism Spectrum Disorder is usually diagnosed between 18 months and 4 years old.

Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder

There are several signs and symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some include; Not mimicking noises or facial expressions by 9 months old, not babbling or cooing by 12 months old, no single words by 16 months old, and loosing previuosly aquired language or social skills at any age.

Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder

There is no cure for Autism Spectrum Disorder. But, getting help with social and language can have a huge affect on a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This can help people on the Autism Spectrum greatly with their language and social skills in the future. Since the brain grows a lot at a young age, getting early treatment can be key in helping a child with ASD learn their social and language skills.

Prognosis

Having ASD should not affect the life-expectancy of a person.

Connections

I do not personally know anyone with ASD, but there are several famous people who had/have it. One of which is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who was a famous composer back in the 1700's. Another is Temple Grandin who is an animal scientist, a bestselling author, an autism activist, and a consultant to the livestock industry. Also, Sir Isaac Newton had ASD. He was a mathematician, and a very famous scientist. He developed Newton's Laws of Motion.