Autism: Life without a voice

Imagine someone, who we will call Marie, with a group of people just having a good time when she suddenly jumps for no reason. Was she startled? Instead of explaining what happened or asking what it was, she just leaves the group and the situation  as fast as she could. But before she gets out of earshot, one of her friends hears her starting to talk to herself like one would while holding a conversation. Normally, someone would stare, laugh, poke fun, and start bullying this student. However, this student cannot control what her actions are nor the fact that she misunderstands social behavior, and can hold lengthy conversations about a topic that  she is passionate about. This is a often misdiagnosed condition that is affecting one in sixty-eight children is real and is the result of a neurodevelpmental disorder known as autism.

Autism is not a recent disease. According to the earliest case was in 1747 with Hugh Blair of Borgue who showed many of the signs and symptoms of autism but it was not brought into the modern sense until 1938 with Hans Asperger, who then labled the disease as Asperger’s Syndrome since there is many forms of autism and it is shown more five times in boys than girls. But, it was recorded for years earlier than this for even Martin Luther thought when he saw a  twelve-year-old boy he thought the lad was a soulless mass of flesh that was possessed of the devil and should be suffocated. Some people with this disease are misunderstood and very often missdiagnosed because the symptoms vary with each person who has it. However, some of the regular symptoms are: repitition, memorization (or focus) of a certain topic, misunderstanding of social norms, babbling, no eye contact when spoken to, and voice patterns which are not syncronized with the caregiver. This disease can be biological or even run in families and no one would know unless they were tested, even though there are no epidemics to certain populations of people. But most of the people who are affected by autism are children. Where as for Marie, she was not diagnosed until she was an adult because she never showed any physical signs of autism that would state for a medical diagnosis. Therefore, it was undiagnosed for years.

After the diagnosis with autism, prognosis is very limited. But engaging in a conversation with people like Marie who has the verbal side of autism, and teach her the socal behaviors that are acceptable. Eventhough there is no medical permenant treatment available to “cure” autism, there are some things that one would be able to do to help. Making one in aware of the situation that they are going into with a plan “A” and a plan “B” both of these plans should be mentally mapped/planned out for no matter how the situation turns out they know how to respond. Always living with an “action plan” is how some people with autism live so they try not to show their disorder and receive bullying as  a result.

Unfortunately, there is no set cure for autism because it varies in each person, but there are certain tests that the doctors will use to try to rule autism as a problem if nothing else seems to solve the behavior issues. Even if someone fell in one of the autisitic categories: verbal and non-verbal.Treatment are some of the routes that are helpful in connection with others. However, doctors and researchers are looking for one. Furthermore; people with autism may recover over time, or maybe not at all, since it is a genetic disease.

This is not a disease that someone can just catch like a common cold and it would over the course of a few days be recovered from. It is a life long disease; however, there are some signs or symptoms that may leave and then replaced by others. Since it is not communicable, there is no need for a fear of an epidemic. Relatives should however, be concerned about having traces of autism in their own families. As a child, it will be easier to catch autism as a diagnosis, than later in life as an adult.

People are better educated about autism if they learn the diagnosis, prognosis and symptoms of the disease. Eventhough some of the symptoms don’t show up, it is still wise to know what to look for. So the better educated people are, the less, those like Marie, would be as a target of bullying and being misunderstood due to the lack of not understanding social norms.

So what happened to Marie? When we last saw her, she was frantically leaving her friends to hopefully not rouse unwanted questions on why she was leaving. A few days later, she ran into that same group of friends and explained why she left, with no sound of dread or anxieity. It was as though nothing ever happened a few days before. Why? One might ask? She had finally told her friends and to her surprise, they were more accepting than she had ever thought. And she is now following dreams and desires that she never thought were possible if she, her family, and her friends never knew.

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