Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder
A range of separately diagnosable conditions fall within the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These include Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and autistic disorder (CDC, 2018). This introduction highlights this developmental disability relative on how understanding theories explaining its existence can impact on an individual’s professional and personal life.
Researchers continue to invest a lot of resources in understanding ASD. According to Amaral (2017), ASD diagnosis is primarily based on symptoms and signs associated with challenges in an individual’s emotional, communication, and social skills. It is a developmental disability that impairs on the behavioral capacities of a victim such that they are set apart from people not bearing the ASD (CDC, 2018). The way ASD victims think, learn, and solve problems ranges from severely disadvantaged to the gifted so that some require massive levels of assistance in their daily lives while others do not.
One of the most delved into subject matter concerning ASD is factors that contribute to its occurrence. This brain disorder affects 1 in 68 children born within the U.S. of which males are affected at a ratio of 4:1 (Amaral, 2017). It is generally agreed that it results from a combination of genetic as well as environmental factors during the prenatal development of a child.
There are some postnatal factors associated with ASD occurrence in children. These include extreme social isolation coupled with very poor treatment where children tend to be underweight and accorded lackluster medical attention (Amaral, 2017). The resultant outcomes include children exposed to the adversely abnormal caregiver practices lacking the experiential and perceptual familiarities that support development of healthy attachment relationships and severely depriving the brain of cognitive development and growth.
As a professional psychologist, it is apparent that the fetal stage is associated with development of autism in children. Parental genes, maternal infections, maternal antibodies, environmental toxins, and drugs predispose the fetal brain to altered neurodevelopmental processes. From a personal standpoint, it is necessary as a parent to appreciate existing theories on ASD towards limiting the possibility of my child being born with autism.
Amaral, D. G. (2017, January 1). Examining the causes of autism. Cerebrum. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5501015/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, May 3). Basics about ASD. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html