History And Introduction To Autism Psychology Essay

The purpose of this research on Autism is to inform the following audience with guided insight on Autism. A long term disorder which is usually identified in children young as one years of age to three years of age. In my research paper I will cover the following on Autism; Historical, the Cause of the illness, Treatment and Cross Cultural, Biblical World View. In the ending of this research paper I will give my overall conclusion on my research paper my thoughts on autism and how I am able to relate.

According to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) Classification Autism is a wide spectrum diagnose. Autistic Disorder is also known as Autism A pervasive developmental disorder marked by extreme unresponsiveness to others, poor communication skills, and highly repetitive and rigid behavior (Comer, 2011, p.448).

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Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD) is another diagnose that falls under the Autism spectrum disorder. PPD is a “group of disorders marked by impaired social interactions, unusual communications, and inappropriate responses to stimuli in the environment (Comer, 2011, p.447). Asperger’s Disorder is another diagnose that falls under the spectrum of Autism. Asperger’s Disorder is also known as Asperger’s Syndrome and, A pervasive developmental disorder in which individuals display profound social impairment yet maintains a relatively high level of cognitive functioning and language skills (Comer, 2011, p.449).

In the following forms of Autism I will include the specific criteria that are described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-IV). According to Comer (2011) The Display of impairment in social/communication interaction, here are the following: nonverbal behaviors, such as failure to give eye to eye contact, and gestures to regulate social interaction. Not having the ability to develop peer relationships appropriately. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interest, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following: Abnormal preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest and, Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting) Prior to 3 years of age, delay or abnormal functioning in social interaction, language, or symbolic or imaginative play. Table 14-5 (Comer, 2011, p.14)


According to Firth (2003) Autism was coined by Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist, around 1912 and originally referred to “an escape from reality”. Autism and Autistic come from the Greek word “autos” meaning self. The term originally referred to a basic disturbance in schizophrenia, referring to an extreme withdrawal of oneself from social life. (Firth, 2003)

According to Wolff (2004) autism was discovered 60 years ago. Those with autism may be severely impaired and low-functioning or may be mildly affected with Asperger’s syndrome (Holaday, B., 2012, p.2). In 1994 the DSM-IV was released, clinicians input was used and as a result the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders was now a spectrum, as proposed by Wing in 1981. The five points on the autism spectrum included: Autistic disorder, Rett disorder, Childhood disintegrative, Asperger’s disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder- not otherwise specified(Tina,T.D.,Wilder,L.K.,Sudweeks,R.R.,Obiakor,F.E.,Algozzine,B.,2004 p.211-22). Clinician’s confirmed onset symptoms could be consistently demonstrated at 18months of childhood. Language criteria became more specific so that “markedly abnormal nonverbal communication” became “marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture, and gestures to regulate social interaction (Grinker, 2007, p.139).

Cause of Illness

The cause of Autism may vary. It has been said that not allowing the body to heal after one year of being pregnant can also be the cause of an autistic child. It has also been founded that Autism is genetic and hereditary. Another finding is Iodine deficiency has been listed as a cause of Autism. A diet in iodine can result in a wide range of negative effects on the developing fetus, from mild IQ loss to severe mental retardation, i.e.crentinism (Delange, 2001, p.217-220).

There has also been an association between iodine deficiency and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), another condition that has been increasing in the United States (Vermiglio, Lo Presti, Moleti, Sidoti, Tortorella, Scaffidi, 2004, p.6054-6060).

Given the marginal iodine nutrition status, exposure to anti thyroid substances including environment pollutants such as perchlorate, organochlorines, and tobacco smoke, these insults result in a deficit in thyroid hormones, and when present during early pregnancy, result in hypothyroxinemia and most likely cause autism and other neurologic sequelae.(Sullivan. K.M., 2007, p.483-484)

Some believe the cause of Autism can be the lack of emotions, lack of love towards the child but I believe that is false. Having a child with Autism and asking physician what is it that I’ve done wrong there is no explanation. Autism is on the rise and found mostly in African Americans and Hispanic males according to local news channel. Though there is a small percentage that Autism is found in females. In my research I believe there is a cause for this diagnoses but yet to be founded for the illness Autism.


As a mother with child being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (PDD-NOS). The only effective treatment for an Autistic child would be early intervention, Speech therapy, and Occupational therapy and special education classes. Coming from a Mother with an Autistic child whom started off nonverbal to talkative and social I believe the three forms of treatment that are effective would be speech therapy, occupational therapy, and special education classes. Identifying your child’s behavior and needs what he/she is lacking or not yet succeeding i.e. language amount of words at a certain age, nonverbal, and anti-social. It is certain as the child get older especially with a certain severe Autistic diagnose he/she may become defiant and aggressive which parent/or guardian physicians believe in medicating before child displays aggressive behavior.

Currently there are alternatives that have been recommended such as treatments including exclusion diets, vitamins and supplements, heavy metal chelation therapy and medication with changing improvements, indeed children losing their diagnosis, and recovering from autism.(Fitzpatrick,2009,p.379)


From my personal experience and look on prevention of Autism I don’t think there is a way that you could possibly prevent Autism. Though there are ways a parent may be able to detect and seek out treatment to better the conditions such as social interactions seeking out early intervention being aware of the vaccines. According to Healing and Preventing Autism: A complete Guide, it is said “Early intervention is key to success for any child with autism spectrum disorder. Early identification pairs with tips on how to heal and prevent autism from developing further in this key acquisition for any health or parenting collection. (McCarthy, Kartzinel, 2009). Researching on prevention there isn’t much to prevent mainly aware other parents of Autism and how it can possibly be genetics knowing your spouse and your family history makes a difference in prevention. Less exposure to alcohol, and chemicals and others that may be a factor in child defect will help prevent. Conducting my research on Autism prevention I believe being aware of Autism is the best prevention yet educating yourself on Autism and other birth defects, knowing your family history and significant other family history.

Cross Cultural

“Evidence show that individuals with autism exhibit dearth of quality works on multicultural issues regarding autistic spectrum disorders. The general perception today is that autism occurs equitably across demographic groups”. (Wilder, Sudweeks, Obiakor, Algozzine, 2004, p.211-22) Though it’s stated “Autism knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries, family income, lifestyle, and educational level do not affect the chance of autism’s occurrence” (Autism Society of America, 2000, p.3) I found that in the local news and newspaper according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that “Autism in African American & Hispanic males are amongst the highest including the rates have gone up on autism” (Ramirez, S., 2012, March 30). Reports state that a low incidence of autism in many Latin American countries (e.g., Peru, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela) in several developing countries such as Kenya, India, and Hungary (Sanua,1981a,1981b,1984) . “It is found that genetics of autism are related to family racial origin.”

Biblical Cultural Views

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you”-Deuteronomy 31:6(NKJV)

Brings me to think about children that are autistic and parents whom do not really know how to handle or take care of a child with special needs. Therefore I will instill from a biblical cultural view of coping with autism. It has been founded that Positive religious coping was associated with better religious outcome (e.g., changes in closeness to God/church and spiritual growth) and greater stress-related growth, whereas negative religious coping was associated with greater depressive affect and lower religious outcome. (Tarakeshwar, N., & Pargament, K.I. 2001, p.247).The child with autism typically requires vast amounts of parental time and energy. This drain of resources can affect the marital relationship and the functioning of individual family members (Rodrigue, Morgan, & Geffken, 1990). I do agree as a parent and wife being married taking care of a child with autism does take a “vast amount of parental time and energy” at times can be very stressful on the marriage which at times may cause an argument or two especially when needing a break. I believe ways of coping is taking a break asking your spouse to step in and take over at times a strong support system is very effective something I myself is continuing to work on. When considering using a religious coping system I believe effective and helpful tip. “Research has pointed to a variety of religious coping methods that serve various ends. According to Pargament et al. (1988, p.90-104) have distinguished three different approaches to responsibility and coping in a stressful situation:”

1. The self-directing approach, in which the individual relies on self rather than on God,

2. The deferring approach, where the individual places the responsibility for coping on God, and

3. The collaborative coping approach, where the individual and God are both active partners in coping.


My conclusion upon my research on autism has given me effective insight on several spectrums of autism. How families cope with an autistic child from a biblical point of view, at first hand I can relate to most of the information I have provided for my audience. Being a parent of an autistic child is very difficult, time consuming for the most part but a learning experience I do not regret any moment though I was able to learn patients. I’ve learnt and grown at Liberty University In my honest opinion I think if I never took classes at Liberty or pursue my education I would not be able to identify the issues my child was having. Such as being nonverbal and the way he would react when I wasn’t able to assist him in getting whatever it was that he needed the frustration he would go through. My son was not picking up a certain amount of words in a certain time frame. I was able to identify speech delay which then he was later diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder PDD-NOS. As a parent learning that your child has a disability you go into a denial, then acceptance and as a parent your goal is to seek out treatment in order to help your child and a support group. I find it very helpful to seek out support groups others that understand what you go through, some might even have tips that will work to help you work with your child. My overall research experience was effective for myself and I hope for my audience.

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