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What is autism?

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Asked by Angie4asi at 1:31 PM on Nov. 29, 2008 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (8)
  • Autism is a mental disability that effects development. People affected by it will think and act very young like a small child all thier lives.

    Here is a link to more information

    Answer by amber710 at 1:35 PM on Nov. 29, 2008

  • there are different levels of autism. Some live to be self sufficient adults with in an assisted living community. Other are more like they are 'in another world' My understanding is that it affects the emotions and senses a great deal. There is more research into autism everyday. They are developing more and more therapies to help children with these kinds of disorder.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 2:28 PM on Nov. 29, 2008

  • In response to amber710 @ 1:35 PM, I strongly suggest that you seek your information elsewhere than Wikipedia if it is telling you that individuals affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder are "mentally disabled" (some are, most aren't) or that individuals affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder "will think and act very young like a small child all thier lives" - I think both my son and Dr. Temple Grandin would take great offense to that particular description (and, in case you don't know, Dr. Grandin is a noted autistic who is an author, speaker, cited expert in many publications, and video producer - hardly "mentally disabled" or someone who "think[s] and act[s] very young like a small child all [her] life").

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 11:42 PM on Nov. 29, 2008

  • As the parent of a teen w/an Autism Spectrum Disorder, I can tell you that there isn't near enough space here to truly give you a comprehensive explanation of the disorder, but the gist of it is that an individual affected will experience varying degrees of difficulty in the areas of socialization, communication & behavior that are outside the typical range. Affected individuals may be mentally retarded, nonverbal & violent all the way up to genius IQ, well-spoken & mild-mannered. The saying goes" When you've met one person w/autism, you've met ONE person w/autism" for a reason - each will present very uniquely with his or her own expression of the symptoms of the disorder.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 11:44 PM on Nov. 29, 2008

  • That was a very good answer Mom2 I could not figure out how to get it into words. I have a friend who's son has non specific developmental disorder much like autism. He has a lot of the typical things they look for but not enough to name it anything. Her son also has a lot of other emotional and behavioral problems such as ADD and ODD. I hope that you will continue to educate others because you seem to be good at it. Maybe one day they will find the key that will unlock the door for all children and adults with such disorders.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:26 AM on Nov. 30, 2008

  • Autism is a very complicated pervasive developmental disorder but it is found in the diagnostic manual for mental disorders. It is no way means that the child is menatally imapaired. There isn't a good way become educated by asking a question like this in this particular forum. I'm a therapist and have worked with children that have pervassive developmental disorders. Autism is on a "spectrum" which means there are many different ways it can look, many different signs/symptoms, or ways in which it impacts a child or adult living with this disorder. There are children who meet the criteria for mentally retarded (I hate that name) and also meet the criteria for Autism. On the other hand there are children who are considered "mildly" autistic who have some difficulties in day to day areas of functioning but are very intelligent and are quite successful.

    Answer by frogdawg at 5:18 PM on Nov. 30, 2008

  • cont..On a personal note, I have a cousin living with autism. He talks, interacts, and is main streamed in many of his classes. But he does have difficulty in social situations (has done well with therapy) and some sensory issues. He freaks out at certain noises or sounds that wouldn't even be noticed by other people. He is wonderful and charming. I'm not sure about his I.Q. and I have never asked. I don't think it would be appropriate for me to ask my cousin's parents if their child has any cognitive impairments. Some things are just not cool to ask.

    Answer by frogdawg at 5:21 PM on Nov. 30, 2008

  • to me... autism is the blanet diagnosis of this decade... in the 90's all the kids with issues were ADHD... now they are austistic... i know some kids are. i went to school with some, i have friends who know for sure their kids are differnt and fall into the specturm, at the same time i work with kids that have been diagnosed and do not fit any description i can find on it... it is a blanket term for issues in this decade...

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:30 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

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