Twenty years ago, we seldom heard of the terms Autism or Asperger's Syndrome. Today the terminology seems to be as well known as the words Schizophrenia or Down Syndrome . Most of us know someone who has a relative with one of these disorders, or have a child or a relative ourselves who has been diagnosed. While the terms are recognizable, these disorders are relatively new to the ordinary citizen. The knowledge of the cause, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment are even further limited. For those who have children or siblings that have one of these disorders, the symptoms and treatment are very well known, as they immerse themselves into learning as much as possible about the disorder.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Pervasive Developmental Disorders, which encompasses an array of disorders, including Autism, Asperger's, Rhett's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (Sue, Sue, & Stanley, 2010). These disorders differ distinctly from psychotic conditions because they do not include hallucinations, delusions or incoherence, and most children with these disorders have normal body features (Sue, Sue, & Stanley, 2010). It is reported that ASD is prevalent in approximately 6.7 per 1,000, and that ASD occurs four to five times more frequently in males than in females; ASD also does not afflict one socioeconomic class over another (Sue, Sue, & Stanley, 2010).
Autism is a neurobiological condition in which the person experiences life long pervasive difficulties with social interaction, communication, and demonstrates restricted and repetitive behaviors, as well as issues with delay in cognitive and language development (Le Couteur, 2008). Asperger's Syndrome is a form of the Autsitic Spectrum Disorder, with many of the same symptoms of Autism, however a person with Asperger's has neither a lack of delay in cognitive or language development (Woods, 213), and is more of a social issue. While most people diagnosed with Autism, have an IQ of less than 70, there are some that also display "splinter skills", which is the ability to do one or more isolated tasks very well, and these people show genious IQ levels (Sue, Sue, & Stanley, 2010). Some of these people will become prodigies. Many famous people were either medically diagnosed with ASD or are thought to have had either Asperger's or Autism because of their behaviors and symptoms. Albert Einstein exhibited these symptoms. He was a brilliant invetntor and scientist, and yet had troubles engaging socially (Admin, 2014). Dan Aykroyd, a successful actor, writer, comedian and singer, was dignosed with Asperger's as a child (Admin, 2014).
The diagnosis of ASD, Autsim being the more severe diagnosis and Asperger's with milder symptoms, is often difficult to diagnose because there are no medical tests that can point to ASD (Sue, Sue, & Stanley, 2010). The diagnosis can often be detected by the age of three, and some even as young...