Mitchell Sandey
Expository Writing
08 February 13
Ms. Steinhoff
The Causes, Effects, and Treatments of Autism
In 1994, Dr. Hans Asperger published the findings of a study that he had performed. The study detailed four young children that he had observed. The four children exhibited what would come to be known as common autistic behaviors. However, they were still able to function in the real world, and they displayed an aptitude for discussing their favorite subjects at great length and in great detail. Dr. Hans, his contemporaries, and followers have described certain characteristics as autistic. Autism is defined as “disorders characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors” ("What is Autism?"). Autism has many possible causes, many effects, and many different forms of teaching options.
First, there are many myths about the causes of autism and many possible causes. The myths are causes people first considered but later discounted. The most prominent myth about what causes autism is vaccines. Research has shown that vaccines do not cause autism in children. Autism is a neurological-behavioral disorder that cannot be caused by physiological trauma (Piper-Terry, M.S.). People also believed that autism was caused by a mother that neglected her child, and these mothers were referred to as “refrigerator mothers” because they were cold and uncaring. This too was proven untrue (Badcock, Ph. D.).
Now, researchers believe in many different possible causes of autism. For example, a popular theory states that autism is caused by genetics. Researchers have cited 70 or more genes with the potential to cause neurological disorders-- like autism-- and are linked to factors that include: old parents, maternal illness during pregnancy and oxygen deprivation during development. Chemicals in food and the atmosphere are a potential as well. Chemicals such as non-stick bake spray,...