This paper discusses autism, a development disorder that inhibits communication and severely limits the development of a child’s skills.
The author describes the behavior and developmental problems of autistic children. This paper focuses on autistic children ages three to five, because this is the age when diagnosis and treatment begins. The paper states that Federal law requires that at age five, when the child is ready to begin kindergarten, the state of residence must provide the child, his/her parents and the school system with an individualized education plan. The paper discusses various treatment programs.
Unfortunately, the newness of the condition hampers the diagnosis and treatment for children with autism. Autism itself has many varying severities, what might show up in one child might not show up in another. For this reason, autism is usually defined as a spectrum disorder, or one that can have symptoms in any combination with different levels. While the symptoms usually begin in infancy, the true diagnosis usually occurs when the child is around age three. Several factors surrounding an infant’s birth can cause slower development as far as cognitive skills or verbal skills (i.e. premature, severe illness at birth), but around age three, most children seem to taper off to more defined skill-levels.