Create a 15 page essay paper that discusses Autism: The Needs of Children and Families.
Autism, even today, baffles scientists in its complexity and the intricacy of its origin. Until now, scientists and doctors cannot pinpoint the exact source of this disability, whether genetic or environmental. It is now thought that a combination of genetic and environmental factors cause autism, although this theory still lacks considerable concrete evidence (The National Autistic Society 2008a). What researchers have managed to do over the years is to eliminate bad parenting and social upbringing as factors that cause autism (The National Autistic Society 2008a). The exact origins of autism remain unclear up to this day. It is a “life-long social disability” that people are diagnosed with more and more every day (Hyun-Jin Choi and Nieminen 2008). There is no singular medical and physical test, like a blood test or x-ray that can diagnose autism, the signs and symptoms are observed as a way of detecting it and they are usually evident as early as 9 months and more accurately when a child is between 2-3 years of age (Lewis, 2003 p. 465). Simply put, autism can be defined as “a set of neurodevelopmental disorders in which the way that a person communicates and interacts with other people is impaired” (Medical Research Council 2001, p. 7). It must be noted here that severe autism is part of a spectrum, more commonly known as the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which encompasses “a range of ability levels and severities, but characterised by qualitative impairments in social, communicative and imaginative development” (Medical Research Council 2001, p. 7).