Autism Essay

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Autism “We start with an image—a tiny, golden child on hands and knees, circling round and round a spot on the floor in mysterious, self-absorbed delight. She does not look up, though she is smiling and laughing; she does not call our attention to the mysterious object of her pleasure. She does not see us at all. She and the spot are all there is, and though she is eighteen months old, an age for touching, tasting, pointing, pushing, exploring, she is doing none of these. She does not walk, or crawl up stairs, or pull herself to her feet to reach for objects. She doesn’t want any objects. Instead, she circles her spot. Or she sits, a long chain in her hand, snaking it up and down, up and down, watching it coil and uncoil, …show more content…
“Currently, autism is considered a unique disorder that occurs in approximately fifteen out of every 10,000 births. Autism is four times more common in boys than girls. It has been found throughout the world in families of all racial, ethnic, and social backgrounds” (Cash, 22). Family income, lifestyle, and educational levels do not affect the chance of autism’s occurrence.

Researchers all over the world are devoting considerable time, and energy into finding the answer to the critical question, “What exactly causes autism?” Although a single specific cause of autism is not known, researchers believe several genes as well as environmental factors such as viruses or chemicals, contribute to the disorder. “But finding the genes that cause the disorder has proven far more complicated than originally thought” (DeNoon). Scientists estimate that, in families with one autistic child, the risk of having a second child with the disorder is approximately 5%, or 1 in 20, which is greater than the risk for the general population. This genetic basis is believed by researchers to be highly complex, probably involving several genes in combination.

CLSA study co-author Susan Santangelo portrays autism as a constellation of deficits. “Some may be relatively benign in the absence of others. I think it’s relatively
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