Autism Risk Factors

Article by: Pauline Chaste, MD, PhD, Marion Leboyer, MD, PhD*

The reason I chose to analyze this article is because autism is something that has hit very close to home to me throughout my life. I work at a special needs respite center in my free time where I am given the incredible opportunity to interact with children and families effected by autism. Autism is not a disease, but a special gift. The title of this article drew me in, making me want to analyze it in its entirity. I was taken back by the title “Autism Risk Factors.” To me, autism poses no risk whatsoever. After delving into the journal, by Pauline Chaste and Marion Leboyer, I have an understanding of the angle they were taking this from.

According to Webster, Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.

In this article, autism is studied. This study displays the complex and intense make up of an autism diagnosis. There are millions of genetic factors, and differences that go into the makeup of a child with autism. Autism isnot a simple mental disorder, but a deep lifestyle. Autism effects an individual on every level of life. Autism does not just effect the individual in a negative way, but a positive one. With autism diagnoses oftentimes comes special traits. For example, autism individuals have gifts such as being skilled at numbers, date memory, name memory, and in depth analyzation. Autisim individuals are able to pick up on things that the normal brain will maybe not.

When couples are trying to have children, oftentimes one of their greatest fears will be giving birth to a child with a disability, such as autism. In addition to this, couples who give birth to a child with autism oftentimes are hessitant to have another child due to the risk of having another with autism. According to this article the risk of pervasive developmental disorder (or autism) in siblings of children with autism is 2% to 8%. This is almost nothing.

This article also discusses the different physical and mental abilities with autism. It discusses the variations of language ability, from absent speech to fluent language. From cognitive development to no development at all. Autism diagnoses can be high functioning or low functioning. Some autism diagnoses come with epilepsy, or seizures, and some with none at all. Ultimately, this article shows that the autism spectrum is extremely broad and ones mental and physical and ablity can rang drastically. No two autism diagnoses are the same.

We as society need to be more accepting of the autism spectrum, and more loving of families affected by loved ones on the autism spectrum. Autistic children, and adults, can make large contributions to society if we let them. This study needs to be seen by those who may have a negative taste in their mouth about those with disabilities.

I do not believe there were many limitations on this article because a large pool of autism cases was analyzed. Although no two cases are the same, I feel as if this article greatly reflected the autism community, and those effected by it.

#AutismSpeaks #SpeakNow #AutismAwareness

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