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Autism Spectrum Disorders.docx

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Julie Desjardins

Autism Spectrum Disorders Film: Low functioning Autism Families • Always has to have attention • Doesnt speak much • Run away, dont think about cars • Judged by other parents • Rate for divorce goes up • Finacial issues, in debt for medical fees • Never going to get married or have kids History • Autism = auto + self • Early confusion with childhood schizo • Early treatments: LSD, ECT, punishment • 1940- Kanner & Asperger o How they described the children is still relevant today • 1960 - Bettleheim o Caused by refrigerator mothers, cold mothers o Not based on evidence o Theory stuck for a long time o Still some stigma now because of this o Nothing parents do to cause this disorder • 1970 - Lovaas o Are capable of learning o Can get them caught up in certain area with intense training Prevalence • Current best estimate: 1 in 140 ( = 20,000 in Ontario under 20 years old) • Depending on who you talk to people have different opinions on how many have autism and why the number is rising Why the increase? • Greater awareness o Mother more aware and might take them to the doctor instead of thinking they are just a weird kid • Reduce stigma • Wider diagnostic criteria o Higher functioning o Lower functioning • MR + autism o Intellectual difficulties might have just been called retarded or slow learners o They are now getting tested for autism too • Diagnostis at younger ages Prevalence Increases • Only 50% of increase can be explained by diagnostic practives, leaving 50% unexplained o High but not complete heritability o No disruption of an individual gene or set of genes, can explain the condition o The older you are having children it increases your risk of genetic diseases o Tend to see clusters of people with autism in the same area (usually urban cause they move to doctors, etc) • Enviroment? Etiology • Role of genetics - yes o Not all autism kids are the same o Combination of genes • Role of parenting - no • Role of enviroment - maybe o Prenatal factors o Vaccinations o Likely there is a gene/ enviroment correlation Vaccines • One research linkd vacinations to autism, caused many to stop vacinating there children • Flawed studies • Many carefully run, large scale studies have found no link Diagnostic Criteria • Qualitative impairment in social interaction • Qualitative impairments in communication • Restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests and activities o Specialized interests: Obsessed with train scedules, dinosaurs, etc • As early as age 1 Communication • Delays in understanding words and phrases • Not understanding own name • Not using gestures like pointing and waving • Reduced back and forth social bab
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