“I’m sorry, Mrs. Barnett. What I’m saying is that we don’t think you’re going to need to worry about the alphabet with Jacob” (Barnett 4). Those were the words coming out of Jacob’s special ed teacher. She was trying to let Jacob’s mom know that Jacob would probably never learn the alphabet. Jacob was 3 years old at the time. It had been a year since he was diagnosed with Autism. Jacob loved some alphabet cards he had. He wouldn’t leave them anywhere. Everywhere he went he took them with him. Although Jacob loved his cards, his special ed mentors thought he would never be able to even read or write. In fact, they didn’t even think that he would be able to tie his shoes. 6 years later, Jacob accomplished the impossible. He not only learned to read and write, but he got into college at age 9. 4 years later, at age 12, “ . . .he became a paid researcher in quantum physics” (Barnett 239) Autism is a horrible disease. It will trap you in darkness. But just like Jacob, everyone can achieve the impossible. (Barnett 3, 4, 239)
The term autism was first used psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler in 1908. He used it to describe one of his patients that had schizophrenic. He used it to describe his patient who had withdrawn into his own world. The pioneers of the study of ASDs were Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. They both worked separately and studied different children. In their research, both of their studies showed that the children that they were studying showed similar characteristics. Both Kanner’s and Asperger’s children had problems in social activity and were different from normal children in terms of fine motor skills. (Mandal)
What is Autism? Autism spectrum disorder is a broad term for many other diseases that affect how a kid thinks, interacts, learns, plays, and how he/she imagines. The literal term of Autism is “ . . . a group of biologically based neurodevelopmental disorders that affect a child’s behavior and social and communication skills” (Rosenblatt, Carbone, Yu 5). Some of the diseases related to Autism include: Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder. One unique thing about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) is that not two cases are alike. Every person with ASDs acts differently and manifests the disorder differently. (Wiseman 1)(Rosenblatt, Carbone, Yu 5)
Now that we know what ASD are, what are some things that cause ASDs? Although we still don’t know the cause of Autism, we believe it is biological factors. Bruno Bettelheim, a child psychologist, believed that the cause of Autism was lack of affection from a child’s mother. Although, this has not been scientifically proven, many doctors at the time believed this theory. Today, we have more medical advances to determine the causes of ASDs. In about 15% of the cases, “ASDs are associated with chromosome abnormality or a genetic syndrome” (Rosenblatt, Carbone, Yu 25). Rosenblatt, Carbone, and Yu, also state that “In most children, . . . the underlying cause of the...