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Essay/Term paper: Autism

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Essays

Free essays available online are good but they will not follow the guidelines of your particular writing assignment. If you need a custom term paper on Essays: Autism, you can hire a professional writer here to write you a high quality authentic essay. While free essays can be traced by Turnitin (plagiarism detection program), our custom written essays will pass any plagiarism test. Our writing service will save you time and grade.

There are several reasons why I chose the topic of Autism. First, autism is intriguing

because it is very hard to understand. Medical science is at a loss to explain why and how it occurs.

Second, I have had occasion to develop a personal relationship with children who are afflicted with


At The Children"s Institute, where I volunteer, I sit and play with many kids, two of whom

are very hard to play with. Even though they are five and six years old, they avoid making eye

contact with others, and often refuse to play with the other kids. Also, once they start watching

something, like television, it is very hard to get them to look somewhere else. They are focused,

almost mesmerized by the television, especially if there are flashing lights or colors. One child

rocks back and forth, sometimes slowly and sometimes faster. An older child makes noises a lot,

hums and randomly laughs for no reason. My observations prompted me to do some research into

autism and I found that these were traits which others had also observed in patients afflicted with


Autism has mystified scientists and doctors for more than a century. So, what do we know

about it now? It is a complex developmental disability that usually appears during the first three

years of life, and it arises from a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain.

The brainstem of a person with autism is shorter than a normal brainstem, lacks a structure known

as the superior olive and has a smaller than normal structure known as the facial nucleus.

Scientists who have observed the brainstems of autistic patients have reported that it is though a

band of tissue is missing.

The symptoms of autism vary from one person to another. Some people can be affected

greatly by one symptom, while other may be affected more strongly by a different symptom.

This developmental disability impacts normal development of the brain in areas such as

social interaction and communication skills. Children with autism cannot interpret the emotional

states of others, they don"t recognize anger, sorrow or manipulative intent. Their language skills

are limited and they will often fail to initiate and sustain conversations.

It is common for an autistic person to avoid being touched because of a heightened sense of

touch. A light touch to most people may hurt an autistic person. On the other hand, some autistic

people are insensitive to pain and won"t notice injuries. Hearing can also be heightened so that a

noise that would not bother your or my ears, may hurt an autistic person"s ears. Autistic people"s

vision can also be affected. They have trouble recognizing people. They can also have their eyes

hurt by a bright light or a certain flickering.

People with autism lack normal non-verbal communication and body language. Because of

this, they will seem more literal minded and unemotional than those around them. They also have

trouble with verbal communication which sometimes means they will take a question or statement in

a literal or unusual way. Some autistic people display communication difficulties such as difficulty

remembering vocabulary and pronouncing words. Some are mute. Many need extra time to process

verbal questions or comments and to reply. From time to time they will repeat things they hear or

even their own words.

As you can see, autism affects its victims in a wide variety of ways. Some do well in special

supportive environments, other are completely independent and function fairly well, and still others

may never learn to talk or be able to work or live independently.

Problems arise when autistic people attempt to handle multiple stimuli. Because they have

very narrowly focused attention, they can only keep up with one thing at a time. Most people have a

mind like a flashlight, with an area of high focus, and a larger area or partial awareness. The

autistic mind, though, is more like a laser-pointer that highlights only a single small dot to the

exclusion of all else.

Autistic people often dislike, or display a pronounced dislike for change. They have strong

attachments to places, objects, and routines. They can become very upset if they are forced to

abandon these things.

People with autism may be seen as extremely shy. Some may be or seem socially anxious,

but others aren"t anxious, just uninterested or unaware of how to interact or approach others.

Their lack of normal body language may make them seem more distant or unemotional than they

actually are.

Autistic people will often do strange things, like flapping their hands in front of their eyes,

humming, spinning in circles, rocking back and forth, or repeating things. They do these things just

for fun, or because they are excited or distressed. The repetitiveness is related to the natural

repetitiveness and narrow focus of the autistic mind. Talking to oneself or giggling for no apparent

reason is often the result of intense daydreaming or remembering.

A child with autism is normal in appearance to the untrained eye. But scientists have

identified a few physical anomalies. The corners of the mouth are low compared with the center of

the upper lip, and the tops of the ears flop over. Also, the ears are a bit lower than normal and

have almost a square shape.

In the information I have gathered, we see both how similarly affected the victims of

autism are and how much the effects of autism vary from one person to another. New scientific

discoveries have served to dispel some of the mystery of this complex developmental disability. Of

course, it is frustrating for anyone who has a family member or is a family friend of an autistic

person because there is still no explanation for why autism strikes.

As a volunteer who works with autistic children, I believe it is important to increase

awareness and understanding of this affliction. We can and should reach out to autistic children

and help them live lives that are as meaningful and productive as possible. In doing so, I have found

that we can enrich not just their lives but our own as well.  

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