Mental Illness - Autism
January 19, 2014
Mental Illness - Autism
This paper about a form of mental illness called autism will explore many aspects of the disease, such as the history, sign and symptoms, and diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Autism is a serious developmental disorder that shows up in early childhood, normally before the age of 3 years old. Even though over the last five years scientist have identified a number of rare gene changes, also known as mutations, associated with autism, it is still not clear what causes this developmental disorder in the brain. Furthermore, central nervous system changes have also been associated with this disease, but ...view middle of the document...
In fact, autism symptoms and the severity of them vary greatly, and two different children diagnosed the same type autism may act differently and have extremely different skill sets (Mayo Clinic, 2012). In addition, the Mayo Clinic (2012) states, “In most cases, though, children with severe autism have marked impairments or a complete inability to communicate or interact with other people” (para. 4). Although some children may show signs of autism early in their infancy, other children may not show any signs or symptoms until the first years of their lives when they may become suddenly withdrawn or aggressive, and lose language skills they had already learned (Mayo Clinic, 2012). Each child who has autism shows a different pattern of behavior, and some of the most common symptoms of autism with social skills are problems such as failing to respond to his or her name, poor eye contact with other people, and appears not to hear you at times. They would prefer playing alone, and do not ask for help or request things. The most common symptoms for concern of autism with language are when a child does not speak or experiences delay in their speech, or loses previously learned abilities to say words or sentences (Mayo Clinic, 2012). In addition, when requesting something they do not make eye contact, and does not appear to understand simple questions or directions. Furthermore, the most common symptoms with behavior are moving constantly, unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch, but pain does not bother them, and they do not engage in imitative or make believe play (Mayo Clinic, 2012).
In the last few years awareness of a disease known as Pediatric Neurotransmitter Diseases (PND) has increased, which led to the recognition of uncommon overlaps with autism in certain people (Autism Speaks, 2008). PND defined as a collection of uncommon diseases in children related to irregularities in the synthesis and breakdown of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) (Autism Speaks, 2008). These neurotransmitters are chemicals in the brain that communicate information between cells in the nervous system, and all are controlled by a delicate balance between movement, thought, and homeostatic regulations in the body. Hence, any imbalance, especially in a developing brain such as an infant, can result in many of the motor, cognitive and regulatory troubles found in children with autism (Autism Speaks, 2008).
According to the Mayo Clinic (2012), they state, “For your child to be diagnosed with autism, he or she must meet the symptom criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association” (Diagnostic criteria for autism). Thus, to receive a diagnosis of autism, they must have six or more of the following symptoms, and two or more of those symptoms must fall under the social skills category (Mayo Clinic, 2012). The symptoms in social...