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Autism from a Neurological Standpoint

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Autism

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Autism From A Neuropsychological Standpoint

The neurodevelopmental disorder autism and autistic spectrum disorders in general impair a child's learning, communication, and socialization. One common feature of autism is the individuals lack of understanding that other people's way of seeing things can be different than their own (Murray, 2011). For instance, telling a story from a point of view other than their own. Autism is currently recognized at three distinct levels that are nevertheless linked: it is a neurological disorder that is linked to brain development; it is a psychological disorder of cognitive, emotional and behavioral development; and it is a relationship disorder which demonstrates a failure of normal socialization. Autism is within a group of disorders known as pervasive developmental disorders (Fritson, 2008). This disorder is usually clearly apparent by age three, and generally has reached it's full severity at that point. Common early indications of autism include delayed onset of language ability and delayed onset of social interaction. Autism is heterogeneous, with children being normal in some respects and severely impaired in others. Of individuals with the disorder, about 80% are male, about 60% have significant mental retardation, and approx. 35% have epilepsy. Autistic individuals tend to show savant abilities (Pinel, 2009).
Autism is associated with widespread damage in the brain, with the most obvious damage occurring in the cerebellum and brain stem. Due to the social, verbal, and emotional deficits experienced in individuals with autism, studies have looked towards the frontal lobes, with studies documenting abnormalities in the frontal cortex. Two new areas of research concerning autism's neural mechanisms have recently emerged. Based on the observation that individuals with…...

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