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About Autism in children – Part 1

Autism problems happens when the brain develops differently and has trouble with an important job.
• Every day, our brains interpret (understand) the things we see, smell, hear, taste, touch, and experience.
• When the brain has trouble interpreting these things, it can make it hard to talk, listen, understand, play, and learn.
• A kid’s symptoms could be very mild, severe, or somewhere in the middle.
• Say, some kids might be upset by too many noises or sounds that are too loud.
• Kids who have milder symptoms don’t mind loud noises so much.
• Someone with mild symptoms might need only a little bit of help.
• But a kid with severe symptoms might need a lot of help with learning and doing everyday stuff.
• Kids with autism often can’t make connections that other kids make easily.
• Many kids who have autism spectrum disorders have trouble understanding what emotions look like and what another person is thinking.
• They might act in a way that seems unusual.

A kid with an autism spectrum disorder might:
• have trouble learning the meaning of words.
• do the same thing over and over.
• move his or her arms or body in a certain way.
• have trouble adjusting to changes.

Autism Causes

Although autism is the result of a neurologic abnormality, the cause of these problems with the nervous system is unknown.
• Research findings indicate a strong genetic component.
• Most likely, environmental, immunologic, and metabolic factors also influence the development of the disorder.
• There is probably no single gene or genetic defect that is responsible for autism.
• Researchers suspect that there are a number of different genes that, when combined together, increase the risk of getting autism.
• A number of studies have found that first-degree relatives of children with autism also have an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders.

In some children, autism is linked to an underlying medical condition like:
• metabolic disorders (untreated phenylketonuria [PKU]).
• congenital infections (rubella, cytomegalovirus [CMV],toxoplasmosis).
• genetic disorders (fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis).
• developmental brain abnormalities (microcephaly, macrocephaly, cerebral dysgenesis).
• neurologic disorders acquired after birth (lead encephalopathy, bacterial meningitis).
• environmental factors and exposures may interact with genetic factors to cause an increased risk of autism in some families.
• emotional trauma at an early age, especially bad parenting, was to blame.
• vaccines: The mercury preservative used in some vaccines is known to be neurotoxic.

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew Autism By Hand 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism

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