Autism Spectrum Disorder (Autism)

By: Codyyyy

What is Autism?

Autism is a mental disorder that is developed during the early life stages of an individual. Generally, it causes drastic struggles within one’s ability to verbally communicate with their peers, primarily during their childhood and adolescence.

Frequently Asked Questions. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/faq

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Symptoms and Characteristics

  • Unusual reliance on routine

  • Getting emotional and defensive when being touched or held by someone else

  • Prefer to be isolated from others

  • Unusual interest in moving objects

  • Develop habits of constantly repeating words and phrases

  • Showing sudden emotion in random situations

    Autism: Symptoms and Characteristics. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autismtreatmentcenter.org/information/autism_symptoms.php

Occurrence of Autism

Autism is a pretty common disorder that affects about 2 million people in America. In the past, autistic people were deemed as delinquent individuals who were not raised ethically by their parents. However, as time progressed, society began to focus and understand autism better and in fact began to form social groups to aid people in the autistic society. According to statistics, boys are approximately 5 times more prone to this disorder than girls. Also, about 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism (1 in 42 boys, 1 in 189 girls).

Frequently Asked Questions. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/faq

Causes of Autism

According to researchers, there has not been thorough proof that stats a primary cause for autism. In general society, it is accepted that autism is caused through an abnormal development of brain during the early life an individual. While other in depth researchers believe autism is caused through genetics, heredity factors, and/or other medical factors. Other researchers have stated that pregnant women who are diagnosed with other mental disorders, and/or use harmful substances, or an overwhelming exposure to chemicals during pregnancy have an increased risk of giving birth to an autistic child.

Causes | Autism Society. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autism-society.org/what-is/causes/

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Impact of autism on an individual’s lifestyle and family members

Lifestyle

Childhood:

An autistic individual’s lifestyle is quite distinct from someone without autism primarily due to their inability to interact with their peers. This will affect their overall security to their surroundings which ultimately causes stress and anxiety amongst them, hence they will begin to do stress-relieving actions such as throwing tantrums, and other physical actions and gestures on a daily basis. As far as school is a concern, most autistic students join the special needs program which offers hands on assistance. However, the students that do not have assistance tend to find school a very tough place to navigate around, and will often experience tenures of failure in school and social work situations. These barriers can potentially trigger low self-confidence, low self-esteem, severe anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

Effects of Autism on the Individual and their Family. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autismbedfordshire.net/about-autism/effects-on-the-individual-and-their-family/

Adulthood:

In their adulthood, finding a job and paying costs are two major obstacles for an autistic individual. This is due to their inability to make timely decisions that requires long and short-term planning such as paying taxes, and costs. Their struggles to communicate with their colleagues and peers is another crucial hurdle that is very, difficult to overcome for an autistic person. In addition, in the job industry, every occupation has stress-related barriers. For someone who is autistic, stress is arguably the most difficult component in terms of coping, and overcoming it. Additionally, society during social events can misinterpret the actions and behaviours of autistic individual, and begin to make assumptions that they are typical misbehaving kids. Unfortunately, some autistic people in their adulthood will go break laws and commit crimes, mostly due to the misunderstanding of the society’s ethics and morals. Transportation and traveling is also very challenging, especially by themselves due to their inability to recognize directions, the difficulties in understanding the type of environment that’s surrounding them, and overall anticipations for near future events and occurrences.

Effects of Autism on the Individual and their Family. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autismbedfordshire.net/about-autism/effects-on-the-individual-and-their-family/

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Family Members

Parents

Most parents avoid taking their autistic child to overly crowded and populated vicinity’s, in order to avoid anxiety within their child, and overall judgment amongst their child from public society. Also, some couples end up divorcing because of the stress and burden it takes to raise an autistic child. However, this will cause even more emotional breakdowns from the child since they have very limited knowledge and understanding regarding a serious and in depth topic like divorce. For parents who have an autistic child, they might experience three types of strains, including mental, physical, and financial strains.

Effects of Autism on the Individual and their Family. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autismbedfordshire.net/about-autism/effects-on-the-individual-and-their-family/

Types of Strains for Parents with Autistic Child

Emotional and Mental Strain

Mental and Emotional strains occur when parents begin feel the pressure from society that their child is not growing up the way others’ kids in society are which can potentially cause guilt, depression, isolation, and severe levels of stress within the parents themselves.

Effects of Autism on the Individual and their Family. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autismbedfordshire.net/about-autism/effects-on-the-individual-and-their-family/

Physical Strain

Physical strain occurs since autistic children tend to require loads of constant supervision whether it is their diet, sleep routines, etc. This causes physical drainage for the parents. For the diet for an autistic child, parents must feed their child with foods they prefer since their preference to distinct foods may be limited, and their reluctance to try new food also limits the child’s eating options whether their current diet is healthy or not. As for sleeping regulations, autistic individuals tend to feature disturbed sleeping patters that causes their parents to also wake up to supervise them which can be physically exhausting, long-term.

Effects of Autism on the Individual and their Family. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autismbedfordshire.net/about-autism/effects-on-the-individual-and-their-family/

Financial Strain

Financial strain is when parents of an autistic child spend more money than average parents due to the fact that they want an ample amount of support for their child during their youth. As an autistic child continues their growth, the financial costs will continue to increase because they might have to pay for their child’s tuition, if they wish to attend post-secondary programs, as well as support for their child in their adulthood, since autism is a lifelong disorder.

Effects of Autism on the Individual and their Family. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autismbedfordshire.net/about-autism/effects-on-the-individual-and-their-family/

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Siblings

Siblings get affected too because they are living under stressful conditions at home whether it’s the difficulty spending quality time with their families, friends, and peers, or them becoming care takers for their autistic sibling in effort to aid their parents. Also, it internally strangles them from having a social life with their peers knowing their position in the house when it comes to caretaking their sibling with autism. Although, autism therapists do strongly advise the siblings to take some time away from their autistic sibling, and go hang out with their friends to relieve themselves from stress.

Effects of Autism on the Individual and their Family. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autismbedfordshire.net/about-autism/effects-on-the-individual-and-their-family/

Support systems and programs available to the autistic society

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Kalyana Support Systems

This support group offers behavioural therapy and educational programs to children with autism. It supports children between ages 2 and 17, and their overall goal is to help autistic individuals reach their full potential through the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). ABA method focuses on condensing each social skill into small units and then teach them how to apply these methods and skills into everyday life at a very steady pace. This program also provides access to professional therapists and supervisors to guide the children with autistic disorders from Monday-Friday between 8 am to 4 pm. Their headquarters is located in Mount Vernon, Ontario, near Hamilton. Kalyana Support Systems. (2014). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.kalyanasupportsystems.com/styled/autismservices.html

Three types of support groups in program-Program Process Analysis

  • ABA process-Behaviour Therapy

    • One-on-one between instructor/therapist and the autistic client

    • Social interaction skills

    • Imitation and recognition skills

    • Enhances understanding of society and social norms

    • Use of language during certain situations

  • The Gregory School

    • Day School program that helps children with special needs, like autistic individuals, navigate through the school’s curriculum

  • Therapy/Theory

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Criticism

Overall, this support group is quite effective since it helps one with autism become more comfortable since they focus solely on improving their social interactions. However, despite its effectiveness in terms of improving autistic children behaviour, disadvantages always seem to be inevitable. In this case, critics will definitely question the age group that they are specifically providing service to, which happens to be individuals with autism between the ages of 2 and 17. This can easily be criticized since the people that struggle with autism are not all in that distinct age group. Although, statistics and research have proven that or most, autism is more severe during one’s childhood compared to their adulthood. However, autism is a life-long condition that will continue to feature autistic-like symptoms throughout one’s life meaning that if they need aid and/or advice an issue than this system will give them one less option since they are not in the age group, hence they are not eligible to obtain assistance from this company. Also, there are smaller groups in the autistic community that still struggle with the same level of symptoms in their adulthood than they did in their childhood. However, the age limit of this system forces them to seek other help after the age of 17. Furthermore, English is the only language in which this system runs with. This could be an issue because this support group is located in Canada, which is the most multicultural country in the world. Hence if there are visitors that do not speak English, and there are no interpreters or bilingual employers than there will be communicating barriers between the employers and customers.

Kalyana Support Systems. (2014). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.kalyanasupportsystems.com/styled/autismservices.html

Kalyana Support Systems - Brantford - Colborne St W - hnhbhealthline.ca. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.hnhbhealthline.ca/displayservice.aspx?id=148328

Bibliography-Citations

Autism: Symptoms and Characteristics. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autismtreatmentcenter.org/information/autismsymptoms.php

Frequently Asked Questions. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/faq

Causes | Autism Society. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autism-society.org/what-is/causes/

Effects of Autism on the Individual and their Family. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.autismbedfordshire.net/about-autism/effects-on-the-individual-and-their-family/

Kalyana Support Systems. (2014). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.kalyanasupportsystems.com/styled/autismservices.html

Kalyana Support Systems - Brantford - Colborne St W - hnhbhealthline.ca. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2015, from http://www.hnhbhealthline.ca/displayservice.aspx?id=148328