The essay critically analyzes autism. It expresses sensitivity and experience towards the disorder on the basis of a movie Autism: The musical, Susie Rubin and Temple Grandin. The paper defines what autism is, briefly discusses the various types of autism and it characteristics. The essay also evaluates on why autism is on the rise and proposes possible measures which would be taken by educators to understand, teach and bring the best in students with such disorders. Finally, based on the wonderful stories of the individuals in the videos watched, the paper ends on a positive note which conforms that these individuals are equally important people in the society.
According to the Autism Society of America, autism refers to an intricate developmental disability that usually occurs within the first three years of human life development which is caused due to disorder of neural development which affects normal functioning of the brain. Hence, impairing communication skills as well as social interaction, it is estimated that out of 150 births there is a possibility of one being autistic. This has been articulated that autism is four times more in boys than girls. Those who are affected either adults or children usually demonstrates trouble whenever they are communicating either verbally or non-verbally, Leisure or play activities as well as being unable to interact with others (Bishop, 1989).
Autism is among five others that are categorized as pervasive developmental disorders. A neurological disorder is distinguished by extreme and persistent impairment in a number of developmental stages. It has been agreed by scholars and medical experts that autism causes are based strongly on genetics, although the genetics of autism is very complex (Neuroimmunedr, 2010). Other factors such as environment, epigenetic factors and synaptic dysfunction have also proved to contribute to autism.
According to Shawn (2010) the five different type of autism are categorized on the basis of their severity and levels of functioning. They include; pervasive developmental disorder; individuals in this group do not meet criteria of the other four categories.
Aspergers syndrome, victims show varied characteristics of autism and severity range from mild to severe. Children do not socialize and exhibit difficulty when changing routine tasks, they cannot read body language, have reduced sensitivity to pain and very high sensitivity to noise and light. However, they are of average intelligence.
Childhood disintegrative disorder; include individuals who exhibit severe regression in communications and social interaction. Individuals seem to be normal at early age until they attain the age of 2-4 years when the problems arises.
Kenner’s or classic autistic disorder; is the most common and severity range from mild to profound. Kids show inability to share enjoyment with age mates, unable to socialize, repetitive language, they are not able to start or maintain conversation, constant fixation with objects and not flexibility in terms of routine. All these symptoms appear within the first three years of childhood.
Rett syndrome mostly occurs in female and its is characterized by poor growth of the head. The pronounced symptom is loss of muscle tone, problem in crawling and walking. Individual seem to stop using hands but rather develop pigeonholed hand movements e.g. clapping. Severity is manifested if they do not perform motor functions, individuals seem to be growing normally, but later they are stunted and loss abilities and skills.
According to Autism Society of America (ASA), the common characteristics of autism are clearly depicted in the area of communication and these symptoms manifest themselves between age two and six years. The common characteristics are that the individuals are not able to coo at the age of twelve months. They are also unable to point or gesture after one year, by one year and four months, the child is not in a position to utter even a word, by the age of two years the child is unable to say two or more words and similarly loose social skills and language abilities.
Other general characteristics include; child may avoid cuddling, exhibit self injurious manners when disturbed for instance pricking their skin, eye, knocking their head or biting themselves. They also exhibit difficulty when socializing with other kids, do not fear danger, either over or under sensitive to pain, a times they avoid eye contact, prefer being alone most of the times and may show paroxysm for no good reason. In addition autism individuals may inappropriately laugh, show prolonged repetitive play, may echo words or phrases, show difficulties expressing what they need and may use gesture. They usually have inappropriate attachment to objects and a time may spin objects or even themselves.
One of the major causes which foster the rise of autism are decisions which parents make during conception or during pregnancy. It has been revealed by researchers that a paramount number of parent bases their diagnosis of this epidemic on biomedical approach which is costly and majority of them tire from this approach broke and frustrated. Usually these are the result of neglect and non-monitoring of the parent on the child development. Thus these symptoms are not detected when they should have been to facilitate medication which is proposed for such dysfunction in the child life (Bishop, 1989). These preventive measures includes vaccination and attending nutritional counseling seminars which are offered to pregnant and mothers by clinics and hospitals. Lack of knowledge has left many mothers feeling guilty of the conditions that their children develop which deters socialization.
Another major cause of this epidemic is environmental and predispositions aspects such as dysfunctional vaccine offered to the child. Due to the development of this dysfunction, researchers have developed many vaccines some which are defective and may even cultivate the child chance of getting this phenomenon. According to Barresi and Boore (1996) majority of the experts are busy debating the theories behind autism than implementing remedies. Thus this has challenged the couples whom are contemplating pregnancy to resolve to get advice from mothers who have undergone this epidemic and helped their children overcome it. Usually the couples end up being misdiagnosed on which measures to take and thus follow unethical medical plans which result are injurious. This happens as the medical experts whom are supposed to be assisting are busy debating theories which are mainly concerned with the future implementation forgetting the current situation.
Nutrition on pregnant mothers is another issue which has been the major cause of autism arise. Nutrition seminars are instilled by clinics and hospital to mitigate this epidemic. However, majority of the expectant mothers are usually busy and don not concentrate on their diet thus paving way for condition which might favor autism. Lifestyle also influence rise of autism. Some of the activity which triggers autism includes alcohol consumption, tobacco, junk foods and being exposed to constituent which fosters toxins or chemical element which may affect the unborn baby (Barresi & Boore, 1996).
Discontinuing of breast feeding is another cause, this is because the child immune system kicks in after the 18th month and early discontinuation would mean that the child is exposed to diseases without immunity. When breast feeding is ceased on early stages of the child life then there are high chances of the child getting autism.
What educators should understand, teach and bring out the best of Autism students
One major element that the educators should have in mind is that this is only a dysfunctional condition which with proper administration it can be mitigated. Through proper administration of care and consistence classroom routine which ensures that the students are well catered for psychologically and mentally to embrace edification. The educators should use visual media print to elaborate and catch the attention of the student so that they may enjoy learning. Vides like The Musical, Susie Rubin and Temple Grandin are among the most recommended visual prints which may attempt to attract and put the focus on autism student in line with the learning programs. Ample exercise programs would also assist in developing good communication and interaction to these students. Dance programs are also essential to enable communication through play. The tutor will enhance the student to be able to generate communication skills through these routines which are easily adaptable (Regan, 2008).
The director of the video “Autism: The Musical” have been able to capture the problems which children encounter when they have autism. Furthermore, it also illustrates on how personalities struggle to communicate with their peers. It shows on how a child would loose self esteem and confidence hence being unable to expression them selves. It also shows how the parents of such children have unconditional love towards the children and how they ensure that they are able to support the children to communicate and motivate them to build up their confidence. The characters in the movie have been instrumental in creation of awareness on how a child with autism would be supported in the society. This have been a noble cause which has enlightened the communities on how they can be able to detect the disorder at early development of the children and how they could be taken care of the child and the most appropriate way to support and train them to be at per with other children who do not have such disorders.
While Dr. Temple Grandin in his video “Temple Grandin” being one high functioning individual with autism in the world has been an encouragement and hope to the children and parents whose children are suffering from autism. He can been able to communicate eloquently despite of the childhood challenges which he had in development of his speech. He has been an aspiration to the children’s living with autism can really overcome challenges of having autism and better their livelihood.