Period 9 Autism

Mitchell Gage and Little Mary Catherine
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a group of very
complex neurological disorders that inhibit verbal
and non-verbal communication skills, and social
interaction that is most commonly found in males.
What Exactly is Autism?
Bo Burnham is a 24 year old male who was
diagnosed with Autism as a toddler. As a child he
was fascinated with the wheels of his truck, and
played with them very unusually, hitting them on
the ground over and over again for hours. He
learned to talk at a late age, and now has trouble
with normal social interaction and making eye
contact. He is currently being treated for
gastrointestinal disturbances, and is taking cognitive
behavioral therapy.
Bo Burnham
Autistic people often have trouble with nonverbal
communication skills such as facial expressions
Usually a delay in learning to speak
Failure to establish friendships with children their own age
A focus on pieces (of toys for example)
Lack of understanding other’s perspectives, such as humor
Lack of empathy
Problems with sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances
Difficulty with muscle coordination
Sometimes intellectually disabled, but sometimes others excel in
things like music or math
Symptoms of Autism
WTF is Going on in the Brain?
Regions of the Brain Affected by Autism
❧ Amygdala: smaller in volume, dense with neurons, and underactive
❧ A smaller cerebellum
❧ Large cerebral lobes
❧ A smaller Hippocampus
❧ Genetics clearly play a role, but scientists aren’t entirely sure what that
• Runs in families, appears to be multiple genes, increased chance in
identical twins vs. fraternal twins
Because Autism is so complex, scientists are not entirely
sure what causes it, but they have discovered that:
Autistic people have too many nerve fibers,
but they don’t work well enough to facilitate
communication between cells (misfires)
The extra cells may affect brain size (very
large brains, abnormal amygdala, corpus
collosum, and cerebellum)
These areas are associated with things Autistic
people have trouble with (coordination,
communication, etc.)
WTF continued
There is no medical test to diagnose Autism, so
specially trained physicians diagnose it through
specific behavior evaluations ,such as unusual
repetitive behavior with toys.
People with Autism often have other medical issues
as well, such as sleep problems, so they’re given
medication for that.
Treatment also includes:
Behavioral management therapy
Occupational therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy
People with Autism have a full life expectancy
❧ Depending on the severity of the disorder, they may
require lifelong assistance, or achieve a degree of
❧ Symptoms may lessen in severity over time.
❧ Treatment typically lasts their whole life.
Along with the trained professionals that diagnose Autism,
their treatment involves professionals such as:
Behavioral Management Therapists
These therapists have a minimum of a master’s degree in
counseling or psychology. Their time consists of replacing their
patients bad behaviors with acceptable ones. They help those with
Autism by helping them to learn what actions are right from
wrong, and replacing their unacceptable or awkward behaviors
with better ones.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapists
These professionals have a minimum of a master’s degree and
specialized training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. They spend
their time helping patients correct inaccurate or negative thought
patterns, and can help those with Autism by helping them think in
more productive and “normal” ways.
Who’s Involved?
Autism and genetics. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from
Autism Treatment, Prognosis. (n.d.).
Retrieved November 14, 2014, from
How to Become a Cognitive Behavioral
Therapist. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14,
2014, from
The Autistic Brain - HowStuffWorks. (n.d.).
Retrieved November 14, 2014, from
What Is Autism? (n.d.). Retrieved November
14, 2014, from
Cited Works

similar documents