Autism Today: Is it a Product of Our Times?
Autism is a medical term used to describe a range of developmental disorders. The condition is rooted in genetics and environmental conditions, with symptoms presenting as communication problems and cognitive impairment. As the disorder is genetic in nature, it’s typically diagnosed in the very young by a screening process. There is a lot of research being done today into how the disease manifests and what causes it.
The Autism Spectrum
Defining autism isn’t as clear-cut as pinning down a physical ailment, which is why the word ‘spectrum’ is called upon as an umbrella term. The condition affects children in different ways, presenting in forms that vary from fully-functional to barely verbal. The far end of the autism spectrum disorder scale (ASD) includes youngsters who refuse to acknowledge the world exists. Such cases require lifelong care, but new therapy techniques have found ways to penetrate this formerly unbreakable shell.
Moving from the example of a non-verbal patient to the other end of the spectrum, we see that a number of cases are coping with autism. These individuals encounter social situations that are tough to deal with and there are communications barriers to overcome, but each child can be taught to cope with the sensory stimulants that are part of life. Asperger’s Syndrome is one example of this milder form of autism.
Autism as a Modern Disorder
In putting the causes of autism into perspective, medical professionals have looked into the chronological rise of newborns diagnosed with neurological disorders. Studies postulate that the genetic factor behind autism is being subjugated by numerous environmental components, although further case studies are required to confirm this prognosis. Speculation aside, autism cases are rising. The CDC already reports a 78 percent increase in the last five years, a shocking trend that needs to be recognized and dealt with before matters worsen.
Tracing the Environmental Causative Factors
Modern living delivers incredible conveniences. Unfortunately, the better living through better modern products model we all live by, is jeopardizing our harmonious relationship with nature. That last statement may sound like a promotional tagline for green living, but what it’s actually referencing tois the influx of pollutants in the air and oceans, the chemicals that find their way into main water supplies, and the toxic changes to the greenery around today’s cities and towns. Science says these trace pollutants are mostly harmless, but it’s next to impossible to calculate the knock-on effect of these toxins on a pregnancy.
The Birth of a Little Miracle
Every child is a cherished gift to be loved and cared for by parents, but changing environmental influences are complicating the bonding process between child and parent. Outside influences combine with unforeseen genetic disorders to affect the neurological development of a growing fetus in the womb, leading to children growing up without the ability to deal with sensory stimuli. A 6 month old baby won’t raise any red flags, but alarm bells will go off as a child reaches the age where social development is a concern. Preschool teachers and pediatricians will see the difficulty the little one has in holding eye contact, or displaying basic emphatic reactions.
Defusing Tantrums and Tears
The frustration of living in a world that seems too loud, is enough to scare the toughest little boy or girl. Tantrums and fighting is one indirect symptom of this frustration, as is withdrawal and depression. Believe it or not, just having a little one screened, and knowing what’s going on is a big step toward treatment. A positive diagnosis of ASD will open the door to a huge reservoir of parent resources, leading the child and parents to a pediatrician referral that results in a child psychology appointment. A masters in applied psychology online is the preferred graduate level here, an educational qualification that allows treatment to understand, evaluate, and implement a care program.
The facts back an ongoing rise in autism due to a series of genetic and environmental influences of which we’re not fully aware of just yet. The battle to curtail the products of our times goes on, but you and your loved ones, whether you’re the parent of an autistic child, or the friend of a parent with an autistic child, have access to more tools than ever before in drawing these children out into your loving embrace.