Amazing Kids! Magazine

Autism

By Jessica Johnson, Contributing Writer

 

Autism also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a disorder in brain development. It involves neurons in specialized areas of the brain. Most children who have this disorder are very slow in developing language and communication skills. The usual behaviors you would see arouse in autistic children would be no smiling or no social responsiveness, lining up of toys or objects excessively, poor eye contact, loss of language or social skills, no response to name, no single words by 16 months or two word phrases by the age of two, and no babbling or pointing by the age of one. There are many forms of autism, one form of autism is Aspergers which may develop intense, or even obsessive interest in a few areas such as sports schedules, weather, or maps. I interviewed a boy in my high school with a mild form of Aspergers. He is a very bright student, and a very sweet boy. He has had training in many summer camps and classes to help recover from his Aspergers. It is clear to see that the classes have definitely helped him improve; he can keep full eye contact while having a conversation which was difficult for him to do before. He says that about ⅕ of people with Aspergers grow out of it.

Autism is more common than ever before. The U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention identified around 1 in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum. However, Autism is not impossible to treat and these kids are actually very bright. It may take time to help them improve but the results will be worth it in the end. Take for example, Temple Grandin, she struggled through autism but ended up becoming very good at what she wanted to do. She discovered a new method of how cattle should be killed. She did not like the ways slaughterhouses worked. She thought that it’s true that we need to eat meat, however we might as well be humane about our way of going through it. Her hard work led her to her bright pathway and she has overcome her struggles with autism. In her mind, she used pictures to form her thoughts, and it was easier for her to think about. Visual thinking was a great asset in her career designing livestock facilities. Through Temple Grandin’s motivational speeches, she inspires those with autistic disabilities to have hope and continue working hard. She claims that some people may have autism and not even be aware of it. Many engineers today work constantly and have very few social encounters, they may even be socially afraid to speak, however they are very good at programming and what they do. As a society we should not let this continue, we must work together to help make sure everyone is socially accepted and consider what we can do to assist.