Autism — страница 2

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even reading, have met with only modest success, unless the child is quite bright. Most severely dysphasic autistic children do not acquire functional reading skills with current educational practices. Verbal autistic children do not know how to participate in conversation, maintain topic, take turns, look at their conversational partner, or interpret tone of voice, facial expression, and body language. They have deficient ability to use rhythm and intonation to clarify meaning and often sound stilted. They may speak in a monotone voice, too loudly or softly, or in a singsong fashion. There are autistic children who learn to read aloud without instruction at a very young age. Typically, they have little understanding of what they have read and cannot use words for communication

that they have no difficulty reading. Hyperlexia, with these characteristics, is uncommon in non-autistic children (Rapin 1995). While hyperlexia implies that at least some of these children’s cognitive skills are normal, or even superior, early fluent speech and hyperlexia do not guarantee overall normal intelligence in the autistic population. The DSM-III-R places inadequate ability to engage in imaginative activity under the same rubric as impaired language and communication (Rapin 1995). No doubt language facilitates this type of activity, but it can also be considered a feature of the strikingly inadequate play of autistic children of all ages. Autistic children regularly display repetitive movements such as flapping of the hands when excited, twirling, humming, running

around in circles, rocking, head banging, twisting of the fingers, or twisting locks of hair, sometimes to the point of baldness (Rapin 1995). They may vehemently resist change in routines or the environment and have unusual tolerance for repetitiveness. For example, a young child may spend hours playing with water, shaking a string, flipping a light switch, rolling a toy car, tearing paper to tiny bits, or doing the same puzzle repeatedly. Another child may study letters, numbers, or stare at a picture rather than play. Some children engage in verbal stereotypes, examples are singing a particular song or repeating a single joke again and again. Attempts to deviate from routines are often resisted strenuously and may lead to major temper tantrums (Rapin 1995). Inability to play

creatively and preference for manipulating, lining up, or classifying toys is often striking (Mesibov and Shea 1996). The children may not recognize that dolls stand for people. Even high-functioning autistic children lack imagination. For example, while they may be taught to feed a doll and put it to sleep, their pretending is repetitive and does not progress to more elaborate schemes of normal children their age. Verbal autistic children may spend weeks and months on some narrow topic, such as dinosaurs or timetables, to the point where they know all there is to know about it and want to speak about it incessantly, unaware of the boredom of those around them. They may attend to subtle details and become meticulous classifiers and collectors of stones, bottle caps, or other

trivial artifacts (Prizzant 1994). Rather than attempting, usually unsuccessfully, to curb this propensity, an intelligent vocational planner can turn it into an asset, guiding the autistic person into a vocation that stresses classification skills. With autism involving so many complex disabilities, it has been difficult for researchers to come to a conclusion about the precise cause of this developmental disorder is. Doctors, scientists and researchers have studied family genetics, damage to genes during prenatal development and they have also taken a closer look at disorders related to autism. Like any other major disability, a family that bears a child with autism is more likely to have a recurrence, but this has not been the majority case. Because of the lack of known cause

in developing autism, treatment has been futile. There are no medications specific in the treatment of autism or it’s many disorders, although a lot of the aggressive behaviors can be controlled with the use of psychotropic and antihypertensive medications (Prizzant 1994). Along with these few medications, intense therapy and consistent routines have proven to be the best method in helping an autistic child to learn how to function in a society and interact appropriately with their environment and social surroundings. Bibliography Bristol, Marie M., Autism: Early Identification and Management in Family Practice. American Family Physician 1991, 1755-1764. Mesibov G, Shea V., From Theoretical Understanding to Educational Practice. The Culture of Autism 1996, 1-21. Prizzant Barry