Autism Essay

774 WordsApr 23, 20094 Pages
Before I begin to talk about the one specific barrier to learning that I chose, I think it is necessary to understand what a barrier is when it comes to learning in the classroom. A barrier is anything that may stand in the way or prevent the learner to fully participate and learn effectively. It can thus be seen as a barrier to learning. It is important to remember that barriers do not necessarily exist all the time, but can sometimes arise suddenly, due to change in circumstances, emotional trauma and a variety of other factors. The learning barrier that I selected is autism. In 1943, Leo Kanner, an American psychiatrist, was the first to describe the disorder known as Autism. Since then much research has been done in order to understand every single aspect of this disorder. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability. It is part of the autism spectrum and is sometimes referred to as an autism spectrum disorder, or an ASD. The word 'spectrum' is used because, while all people with autism share three main areas of difficulty or symptoms, their condition will affect them in very different ways. Some are able to live relatively 'everyday' lives; others will require a lifetime of specialist support. I will discuss the three main symptoms later on. The exact cause of autism is still being investigated. However, research suggests that a combination of factors which are genetic and environmental may account for changes in brain development. Some controversial causes have been stated saying that maybe vaccines cause autism or maybe that a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal, used in some vaccines, could be connected to autism. Experts are not certain about that causes it. One thing we know though is that Autism is not caused by a person's upbringing, their social circumstances and is not the fault of the individual with the condition. The three main areas

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