Autism is a neurological disorder that affects development that generally appears within the first three years of life. Infantile autism is said to occur in one from every six in 1,000 individuals and typically affects boys more than girls. Infantile autism knows no social, racial, or ethnic boundaries and isn’t affected by how much a family makes, their educational background, or lifestyle.
Autism Affects Development
Autism affects how a person develops. It is marked by poor speech and language skills, non-verbal communication skills, lack of social skills, lack of eye contact, and the throwing of tantrums when their comfortable routine is interrupted.
Starts in the Brain
Even though not much is known about the disorder, one theory is that infantile autism is caused by brain damage. Some experts have also considered genetics as a factor. Others theorize that environmental factors play a part. All of the theories have one thing in common – everyone agrees that autism affects the brain. In fact, a recent study shows that autistic boys have fewer neurons in their amygdala, the part of the brain that affects emotion and memory. However, scientists are still in the early stages of learning exactly what causes autism.
Treatment for infantile autism has generally been to place the child in a program specifically designed to help development. Speech therapy has shown to improve verbal as well as non-verbal skills. Drugs are also sometimes used to treat infantile autism. With enough therapy, practice and support, some autistics have been shown to be able to lead productive, self-sufficient lives. For others, treatment doesn’t seem to do any good. Some autistic people don’t react positively to treatment and, for them, institutionalization seems to be the only option.
The important thing to remember is that, just because a person is determined to have infantile autism, they aren’t disabled. Autism has many degrees of severity. But they are still people, after all, that just react differently to the outside world. By educating others about the disorder, even those that don’t suffer from it, we can better ensure that those that do suffer from the disorder will be treated as well normal people. The key is to learn as much as we can, by studying those that have the disorder as conducting further research. We still have much to learn and maybe one day there will be a cure. Until then, all we can do is help the ones that have autism live with it as best they can.