Autism: a Social Disorder Essay

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Autism: A Social Disorder This paper describes the world’s fastest growing developmental disorder known as autism, which is only one out of five of the Autism Spectrum Disorders. I quickly discovered that researching autism meant researching all of the five Autism Spectrum Disorders. I, like many others, knew just the fundamentals of this disabling disorder, so I researched government publications and did further research at the library. The information I discovered was overwhelming, but very informative. I now have a better and deeper understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders. I learned intriguing facts, one being that autism is four times more likely to occur in boys than girls; another is that most insurance companies presently do not cover autism. Hence, the family is left with endless medical bills, which only adds more stress to an already stressed family. Autism has come a long way since it was first discovered, and medical professionals seem to be getting a better grasp on the disorder that affects so many already. Autism is a term widely known, but not many people know the true meaning. The word “autism” is derived from the Greek word “autos”, which means “self”. Although it seems this diagnosis is “new”, some of the earliest printed descriptions of behavioral symptoms, which resemble autism date back as far as the eighteenth century. In 1911, Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, created the word autism while working with his schizophrenic patients (Exkorn 2005:6). Bleuler noticed that those patients were withdrawn from the outside world and exceedingly self-absorbed. It is estimated that 3.4 of every 1,000 children ages three to ten years old are affected with autism, a developmental disorder that causes disruption in families across the United States. In the early 1940s, Dr. Leo Kanner and Dr. Hans Asperger, both males,

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