Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
AutismSpectrum Disorder (ASD)
TheDSM-5 definition of encompasses allthe neurodevelopment disorders leaving no specific descriptionrather as the collection of mental disorders, that inhibit thepatient’s ability to live a normal social life. In the DSM-5definition of the neurodevelopment disorders, the patient exhibitstwo characteristics non-intrusively observed through his or hersocial interactions. Firstly, the patient must indicate difficultiesin interacting with other individuals or intensive withdrawal andlack of social communication. The patient must also show repetitive,pre-set, and addictive chain of behaviors, interests, priorities, andeven decision-making patterns when under stress. From thisdefinition, a patient who shows both symptoms falls under the AutismSpectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD patients have other known mentalillnesses such as bipolar disorder, depression, or DissociativeIdentity Disorder (DID). While it becomes unclear to tell thecontribution of the primary mental illness to full-scale ASD, it isimpartial to argue that a first mental illness is a risk factor fordeveloping ASD. According to center for disease control andprevention, at least one in 68 children suffers from ASD (Centre forDisease Control and Prevention (CDC) par. 8). The study also revealedthat the treatment efficacy is a major challenge due to latedetection of the condition. Thecurrent study on ASD indicates that there are specific risk factorsfor the condition with different symptoms and medications prescribedby the DSM-5. Through the analysis of reliable and valid data fromCDC and other platforms such as academic publications, and governmentsurveys, it is possible to make accurate extrapolations on the natureand statistics of ASD.
In2016, CDC released a report on the ASD prevalence in American urbancities. Although the report was limited to the American cities withurban lifestyle and commonly predictable parenting approaches, thehomogeneity of the risk factors made the study applicable across awide range of ASD studies. The report showed that more than 87% ofthe patients diagnosed with ASD show their first symptom before theage of 2 years (Autism Speak par. 11). In the recent few years,psychiatrists have come up with diagnosis methods recognized by DSM-5below three years.
TheCDC also used race as a determinant factor to indicate that theHispanic and Black children have a higher prevalence rate of ASD whencompared to the white children. The study concluded that the earlyscreening offered to the majority of the White children reduces theprevalence. The report recommended a change in the mental healthsystem to include a universal and compulsory screening of childrenaged below three years.
Otherreports by Mayo Clinic (par. 6) show a direct correlation between theASD prevalence and the availability of mental health informationacross the cities. In areas with high accessibility of informationand mental health facilities, the number of children and adultssuffering ASD is significantly low while the semi-housing, lowincome, lower class societies show increasing numbers of ASDpatients. Therefore, it is objective to argue that the social andpsychological environment plays a major role in the determination ofthe risk factors that contribute to the development of the ASD. Othertheories, such as psychoanalytical theory help in examining theeffects of physical and mental environments to the psychologicaldevelopment of children.
Thespecific risk factors for the Autism Spectrum Disorder are minorfactors of genetics, social and psychological environments, and themental stability. The DSM-5 have given the most determinant riskfactors that show high prevalence level while holding other factorsconstant.
Thesex of the child greatly determines the possibility of developingASD. According to Hessl, Dyer-Friedman, Glaser, Wisbeck, Barajas,Taylor and Reiss (88), boys are four times more likely to develop ASDthan girls. Borrowing from the psychoanalytical theory Hessl et al.,(90) argues that during the cognitive development, boys and girlsexperience the world from different perceptions. For instance, thesocial expectations of a boy and the relationship with the parentmight increase the male genders’ vulnerability to the ASD. On theother hand, the fragility often associated with the female gendercompels the parents to offer them the necessary care and attentionthus minimizing the possibility of developing ASD symptoms at thetender age. The correlation between gender and ASD indicates that,through socialization or genetics, the male gender becomes vulnerableto the condition depending on the confounding factors.
Accordingto CDC, families with an ASD patient have higher risks of having morepatients in the future. In such cases, the center for disease controladvocates for early screening of the members to enhance earlydetection of the condition. The family relation is extensive to therelatives and parents of the siblings.
Theprincipal definition of the ASD is the neurodevelopment that inhibitssocial interactions. Therefore, any mental condition that might alterthe expected neurodevelopment might lead to any ASD condition.According to Klusek, Martin, and Losh (947), other hereditary ordeveloped mental conditions determine the ASD prevalence. Forinstance, children with fragile X syndrome are more vulnerable to ASDdue to the direct impacts on the intellectual development. Fragile Xis a hereditary disorder that leads to brain tumors and slowedintellectual growth.
Similarly,Rett Syndrome leads to direct ASD. According to National AutismAssociation (par. 14), Rett syndrome is a hereditary condition thatlead to slowed growth of the skull, lack of hand coordination, andlack of intellectual capacity. Despite the similarity of the Rettsyndrome and the ASD, the Rett syndrome becomes the primary cause ofthe disease by inhibiting patient’s ability to learn.
Referringto the symptoms of the ASD, the patient must lose the ability tocommunicate socially and depict continuous and pre-set behavioralpatterns. In a normal mental setting, it is impossible for anindividual to have these symptoms without the primary mentalconditions that have deteriorated to ASD condition. When analyzingASD in adults, we must focus on the social and physiologicalapproaches. However, when looking at ASD as a condition in children,physiological patterns offers relevant possibilities or risk index.The fact that the social lifestyle and medication can alter the braindevelopment in children and adults justifies the methods used in thetreatment of ASD (DSM-5 14)
Itis thus impartial to conclude that, in cognitive development, theintellectual and intrapersonal judgments become direct factors ofsocial and mental orientations. In other words, the mental andphysiological environments experienced by a child determine his orher reaction to new or similar environments. The reduced intellectualeventually leads to stagnation in some points where the patient feelssecure leading to predictable patterns. In a normal setting, thesocial interactions are too dynamic and scary to the patient leadingto social withdrawal and inability to be a team player. Hence, anymental illness, either socially or mentally based increases thevulnerability to developing ASD. While there are various known riskfactors of ASD, there is no immune group and the wide range ofconfounding variables, including mental health, determines thepossibility of developing the condition.
Otherfactors include the age of the parents and preterm babies. More than40% of the babies born before 26 weeks of pregnancy develop ASDbefore their third birthday. The data presented by the CDC shows thatchildren born of older parents are more vulnerable to ASD. However,the correlation between the parent’s age and ASD is a highlydebatable issue calling for intensive research to come up with validconclusions.
Thesymptoms and characteristics between the children and the adultssuffering from ASD differ.
Thesymptoms of ASD differ depending on the social and cognitiveenvironments of the child. However, the most basic symptoms includeacting deaf, lack of interest, and poor response to socialengagements. Depending on the environments, the child might showdifferent characteristics.
Firstly,according to cognitive and socialization theories, a child belowthree years should show interest to the surroundings to depictdesires preferences or fears. A child suffering from ASD showswithdrawal from the social environments and late responses whenengaged intentionally. The social withdrawal is the most reliablesymptom of ASD as the patients can also identify the condition andseek further assistance. Secondly, the child shows the desire to livein solitude with obsessive interests. As explained in the definitionof the ASD, patients develop repetitive, pre-determined patterns.However, in children under the age of three years, the attachment tosome events or places leads to obsession. The child might withdrawfrom the social interactions to his or her places of obsessions,which signify peace and comfort as perceived by the patient.
Inearly childhood development, any unusual behavior in a child shouldbe treated as a mild ASD. He sets his reasoning on the fact that, atthe age of 0-5 years the child learns how to interact and thrive insociety. If the child loses the ability to learn in the same societybefore he is mentally stable, then he either has ASD, or he wouldsoon develop it due to lack of social skills. Therefore, the unusualbehavior in children shows mild or full-scale ASD condition. Theunusual behavior among children might include lack of eye contact,poor response to music or conversation, lack of social contributions,detachment from the environments, late response to names, hyperactiveactivity, impulsivity, short-term attention, aggression, delayedspeech, and self-harm.
Inadults, non-intrusive observation can show symptoms of ASD. Due tothe availability of other medical records, and the social andcognitive conditions, psychiatrists often give an accurate diagnosisto adults unlike in childhood cases. The sore symptoms in adulthoodautism are socially oriented. To being with, the patient loses hisability to initiate and maintain a non-verbal communication leadingto withdrawal. Secondly, an ASD patient lacks empathy towards otherpeople’s feelings. In a way, they become emotionally disoriented tothe extent that they lose the social meanings of pain, emotions, oreven empathy. For instance, when responding to a question, an adultsuffering from mild ASD might struggle with the balance between thetruth and the empathy. The conflict between necessary balance betweenthe subjective and the objective options in a conversation make ithard for the patient to trust on his or her answers. The patientsfinally withdraw to a pre-set pattern where they feel secure insolitude.
Additionally,adults with ASD do not show interests in activities of engagements.The lack of interests in games and interactions starts a tender ageand grows gradually. The symptoms are valid in both adults andchildren. Eventually, adults suffering from ASD will show othersymptoms including the withdrawal of the intimate circles. When thepatient starts to withdraw from the society, he or she starts withthe people closest to him or her such as friends, and even family. Inother words, the stronger the attachment, the scarier it becomes tothe patient. However, most ASD patients never develop socialinteractions, and 40% of the patients never learn to speak.Therefore, a patient with ASD can have wider social interactionprovided he is an observer of the society rather than a member of thesame. For instance, an ASD patient might have a hobby of staring atpeople from a distance while the same patient cannot maintain eyecontact when having a conversation. The levels of socialdisassociation shown in adults depend on some variables. As such,when an adult shows gradual social withdrawal, it is advisable toundergo ASD screening to facilitate early medication.
Thereis no cure for . However, thepsychiatrists have identified various ways through which interventionwould reduce the symptoms of the condition and facilitate a stablesocial life by the patients. As explained, there are wide confoundingvariables that lead to the ASD condition. Therefore, any cognitiveand social intervention reacts different depending on the social andmental conditions of the patient. When diagnosing patients with ASDpsychiatrists thus analyzes the situational factors familiar to thepatient and attempts to use them to ensure social stability andeasier communication. While there are no specified treatmentprocedures for the ASD patients, the DSM-5 advises on five majorconsiderations before planning on any ASD intervention.
Theintervention method must seek to increase the communication skills ofthe patient. The lack of social communication with the societyworsens the patient’s condition leading to repetitive patterns.Therefore, as the intervention seeks to help the patient reconnectwith the society, stabilizing the communication skills should be aprimary priority of the intervention. The methods used might includethe identification of alternative languages, use of facialexpressions, and alternative responses to social environment amongother.
Social Interaction Skills
Accordingto the socialization, individuals learn through emulating their peersand developing an acceptable social behavior. Therefore, when a childsuffers from social withdrawal, he or she misses on a vital chancefor cognitive developments. The interventions adopted by the doctorsshould focus on promoting the social position of the child bydeveloping interests. Again, the level of interception suitable forthe children or the adult patients follows the confounding factorswithin which the patients survive. If the patient has alreadydeveloped repetitive patterns and obsession with some events andobjects, it is easier to start the intervention with thesepreferences. Therefore, the life of the patient and his or herpreferences, desires, fears, and abilities determine the specificintervention method.
Imaginative Play Skills
Childrenwith ASD lacks the ability to hold interactive thoughts with theirage mates. Continually, these challenge their development thusmanifesting serious symptoms in the future. Therefore, theintervention should try to create an interactive platform for thekids that would aid their ability to interact with other people inthe future.
Theintervention methods should also focus on offering the mostcomfortable mental environment for the patient. In most cases,although the patients do not show any social interests, they havetheir translation of the world around them. If the guardians and theimmediate family of the patient do not understand his or her needs,then the possibility of a positive recovery is rare. Thepsychiatrists, therefore, dictate on the need to develop a two-waycommunication model. The interactions and reactions of the patientshow his or her cognitive mapping, decision -making, and desires. Ifthe immediate social environment understands the patient’scommunication patterns, they are likely to offer him or her positiveenvironment for quick recovery.
Themedication of the ASD is limited to the social intervention withoutany psychiatric drugs. However, depending on the level of the ASD andthe symptoms depicted by the patient, a psychiatrist might offertreatment with medicines to control the symptoms. For instance, if anASD patient shows high sleeping problems and the inclination towardsself-harm due to anxiety, the doctors might prescribe antidepressantor sleeping pill to keep the patient stable. Other conditionsassociated with ASD include epilepsy, depression, and hallucinations.Nonetheless, the use of the medication does not result in thetreatment strategy but rather as a secondary treatment method tostabilize the patient during social and communication interventions.
AutismSpectrum Disorder is any form of neurodevelopment that leads toindividuals’ inability to hold social interactions and eventuallyleads to repetitive behaviors after social withdrawal. In most cases,the ASD occurs as a secondary condition following other mental andphysiological issues. In the USA, one out of 68 children is likely tosuffer from mild ASD. The risk factors for the conditions range frombiological composition and the social orientations of the patients.The major risk factors for ASD include genetics, the age of theparents, the gender of the child, and the mental health. Forinstance, a child with Syndrome X eventually develops ASD due toreduced intellectual growth. Other hereditary conditions inhibit thechild’s ability to develop the necessary mental capacity. Oncedetected, the psychiatrists come up with situational treatmentmethods to reduce the symptoms of the ASD as there is no knowntreatment. The intervention approaches focus on communication skills,imaginative skills, social engagements, and two-way communicationbetween the patient and the immediate social environment. While thereare no known medicines to treat the condition, psychiatrists mightrecommend drugs to contain symptoms such as epilepsy, self-harm,hallucinations, and lack of sleep. The CDC recommends that patientstake their children for ASD screening once they start showing unusualbehavior during social interactions.
Autism,C. D. C. "Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.Prevalence of autism
spectrumdisorder among children aged 8 years—autism and developmentaldisabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2010." MMWRSurveill Summ 63(2014): 1-21.
AutismSpeaks. "Autism spectrum disorder – Treatment – NHSChoices." 2017,www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Autistic-spectrum-disorder/Pages/Treatment.aspx.
Centrefor Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "CDC | Signs &Symptoms | | NCBDDD." 2015,www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html.
Hessl,David, et al. "The influence of environmental and geneticfactors on behavior
problemsand autistic symptoms in boys and girls with fragile Xsyndrome." Pediatrics 108.5(2010): e88-e88.
Klusek,Jessica, Gary E. Martin, and Molly Losh. "Consistency betweenresearch and clinical
diagnosesof autism among boys and girls with fragile X syndrome." Journalof Intellectual Disability Research 58.10(2014): 940-952.
MayoClinic. "Autism spectrum disorder Risk factors – MayoClinic." 2016,www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/autism-spectrum-disorder/basics/risk-factors/con-20021148.
—."Autism-Symptoms." MayoClinic Autism Symptoms, 2016,www.webmd.com/brain/autism/autism-symptoms#1.
NationalAutism Association. "Signs of Autism." 2015,nationalautismassociation.org/resources/signs-of-autism/.
No related posts.