Anatomy and Physiology

Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) use a secret language. They see this world from their own particular view point and perceive both themselves and those around them differently.The parents are often afraid of uncertainty and face the future in fear.  Real comprehension of this disorder and the difficulties experienced by the child with ASD clears the despair which the families suffer (Seigel B., 1998).

I have first hand knowledge and experience of this often debilitating disorder.  I have a 17 year old severely autistic niece, who also has a co-occurring condition called Fragile X Syndrome (which causes mental retardation), and a multitude of physical disorders.  She can only say a few short sentences, but seems to understand simple language and follows simple directions.

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  She has no bladder or bowel control and often has to be spoon fed baby food.  She truly lives in her own world and often and uncontrollably displays bizarre behavior.My younger daughter of 13 years was diagnosed with Aspergers when she was 4 years old.  Her symptoms began to appear at around age 2. She became obsessed with a certain stuffed animal and would carry it every where, even to the bathroom.

  Her interest in this particular stuffed animal began to fade after about 3 long years.  Once  this obsession  faded, another one appeared.   She became a kitty cat.

 She began to wear black and mimic certain mannerisms.She used kitty cat language and kitty cat behavior everywhere, especially during social interactions or other stressful situations.  Then between the ages of 4-8, she became obsessed with dinosaurs.  She could name them all and the time periods in which they lived.  She is now 13 years old and is obsessed with art and computers, and science.   She is very non-social and suffers from depression, sleep disturbances, and anorexia.  Both my daughter and I and my niece and her immediate family get a wide range of drug and social therapies.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopmental disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior.Autism is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form called Aspergers Syndrome.  ASD can vary significantly in character and severity; it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group.  Experts establish that 3-6 children out of every  1,000 will have ASD.

  Males are 4 times more likely to have ASD than females.  www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htmNo one knows for certain what causes autism.

  Most experts agree that autism may be caused by a combination of genetics, irregularities in the brain, and environmental factors.     www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm