Raising a child has proven to be an insurmountable and challenging task in today’s world. Many different approaches to raising children have evolved due to significant societal changes. Technology, politics, and various health conditions affecting children have all played a role in the evolution of bringing them up throughout history. Caregivers must provide consistent love, assistance, and protection to instill the perseverance and self-confidence they need to deal with their thoughts and feelings and the social stress they may encounter. Parents are in charge of monitoring and guiding their children’s development and growth while ensuring that they are on the right path. This ensures that they can address some of the issues that affect child development, such as emotional or behavioral delays. The inability to reduce autism to a specific set of symptoms and causes creates contradictions in the development of attitudes towards those suffering from the disorder, which requires careful consideration of each individual case.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), also known as autism, is a developmental disorder that affects children during their formative years. It is best described by difficulties in social abilities, way of speaking, and nonverbal cues due to the child’s inability to express emotions appropriately as they grow (Astudillo and Alvaro 1). It is estimated that one out of every forty-four United States children is affected by this condition in the modern era. Autistic spectrum disorders are classified into several subtypes, primarily influenced by a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. As a member of the autism spectrum disorder, the person affected exhibits distinct strengths and challenges from those exhibited by other victims of autism. For example, some people may require less assistance in their day-to-day activities, while others may be able to carry on with their activities on their own, and still, others may be completely reliant on others and require assistance in their daily activities.
There is much debate about ASD’s wide range of symptoms exhibited by the victims. Aside from that, there are no definitive answers as to what causes and triggers autism or the most effective way of treating the condition (Astudillo and Alvaro 1). There have been several disagreements among various individuals who have been affected either directly or indirectly due to the care they provide to the autistic individual due to a lack of clear and precise answers. As a result, there are numerous myths, theories, and ideas surrounding the condition, which has prompted numerous scholars in the medical field to research the matter.
The controversy surrounding autism is primarily associated with the various characteristics of those affected by the condition. Autism, in contrast to many other diseases, does not have a consistent set of signs and symptoms. Individuals may be gifted differently and exhibit characteristics that are entirely distinguishable from one another. Some autistic individuals can carry on with their daily routines without assistance. Despite this, there is another extreme in which the person suffering from autism is entirely reliant on others for their survival. Because of these differences in abilities, people in society express a wide range of opinions, which results in a resulting polarization of opinion.
Numerous factors play a role in the development of autism. It is frequently accompanied by medical conditions such as seizures and sleep disorders, in addition to mental challenges such as anxiety, depression, and a strong desire for attention, to name a few (The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health). It is possible for a child with autism to exhibit symptoms by the time he or she is three years old; in some cases, symptoms can be observed as early as eighteen months of age in children who are suffering from the condition. According to the findings of various research studies conducted on the subject, early detection and intervention result in better and more favorable outcomes for a person who has been diagnosed with autism in their later years of life.
Even though many children are affected by autism, no single major cause has been identified as the root cause of the disorder. However, medical professionals agree that abnormalities in the brain may be at the root of the disorder (Lord et al. 15). As a result, several clinical studies have been conducted to determine the root cause of the disorder. Multiple studies and brain imaging performed on the victims have revealed significant differences in the physical structure of their brains when compared to those who are not affected by the condition. Despite the large number of studies conducted, it has proven challenging for the researchers to identify the underlying cause of the defect with certainty. The researchers are still looking into various theories, including the possibility of a link between hereditary, biological, and medical problems as potential causes of the defect.
One of the theories surrounding autism may have a genetic component, which research supports. It is one of the hypotheses put forward by researchers. The studies’ findings indicate that a pattern of autism or related disabilities has been discovered in many families with autistic patients and that this pattern can be traced back to a common ancestor. Even though no single gene has been identified as being responsible for autism, researchers work around the clock to identify irregular segments of genetic code that may have been passed down from parents to children. They have not been able to determine what causes autism in some children but not others based on inherited genes, which is exciting and disappointing given that it has been observed in other children.
As a result of the last conundrum, new ideas have emerged, which are currently being investigated by various researchers. Researchers are increasingly asking themselves whether there are any specific conditions or gene groups that may be interfering with the brain development of some of these children, which is becoming more and more common (The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health). It has prompted some researchers to investigate whether the difficulties women experience during pregnancy and childbirth and exposure to pathogens and toxic substances are associated with ASD. Following the findings of a large-scale study of autistic patients, autism is more prevalent in people who have certain medical conditions than in the general population. According to the study’s findings, pregnant women who ingested potentially harmful substances appear to have a higher risk of having a child who develops autism or other developmental disabilities.
Even though autism has been controversial since its discovery in childhood development, there is still hope for diagnosing and managing the condition, controlling or avoiding certain environmental factors associated with the condition, such as exposure to pathogens and toxic substances. It should be noted that the study identified some of these as being a catalyst for the development of autism. Apart from that, it would be wise for people not to rely on their ignorance and instead educate themselves on the condition rather than the hearsay surrounding autism.
Astudillo Marino, and Nicolay Alvaro. “The Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): How much do we know?” Pediatrics & Neonatal Biology Open Access, vol. 2, no. 1, 2017.
“Autism spectrum disorder (ASD).” The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 2018, Web.
Lord, Catherine, et al. “Autism spectrum disorder.” Nature Reviews Disease Primers, vol. 6, no. 1, 2020, pp. 1-23.