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Tableof Contents

Introduction 3

Onset and Symptoms 3

Effects of to Children 5

Associated Disorders 6

Therapies and Approaches 7

Role of the Teacher 8

Personal Learning 8

Change in my Attitude towards Autistic People 9

Difficulties of Autistic Children and Adults 9

Reflection on the Girl who found her Voice 9

Reflection on Dibs: In Search of Self 10

Conclusion 10

Bibliography 11


spectrumdisorder, popularly referred to as just autism, is used in thedefinition of a number of conditions that are characterized bydifficulties in non-verbal communication, repetitive disorders,speech, and social skills. is also characterized by uniquedifferences and strengths. Unlike in the past when specialistsbelieved that there existed only one type of autism, recent researchhas revealed that there are various types of autism. These types ofautisms are caused by a variety of combinations associated withgenetics and the environment. Since there are many types of autism,the term spectrum is used to identify the different challenges andstrengths that are associated with autism. Most obvious signs ofautism are noted in children aged between 2 and three years. However,there are cases where children are diagnosed as early as 18 months.Developmental challenges associated with autism are identifiable atan early age and addressed before they deteriorate as the childdevelops physically and mentally.

Onsetand Symptoms

In some cases,autism symptoms are witnessed in early infancy. However, in mostcases, the symptoms are usually identifiable within the first fewmonths or years of a child’s life. Children with autism portray amixture of symptoms although they are unique in different casesranging from high functioning to low functioning. The level ofseverity can be identified on a number of factors includingrepetitive nature of behaviors, restrictive nature of behaviors, andimpairments on social interaction and communication. Severity levelis hard to identify because different children show different signsand there is a mixture of symptoms that is associated with autism(Baron-Cohen et al. 2009, p. 504).

There are a numberof common symptoms and behaviors that indicate the onset of autism.One of the common symptoms and behaviors are those associated withsocial interaction and communication. An autistic child may fail torespond when addressed and in some cases the child may appear not tohear when they are called or addressed. The child may also have nofacial expressions and poor eye contact. Another symptom of the onsetof autism is identified when a child prefers to be alone and resistsaffectionate contact such as cuddles. The child may also have delayedspeech and at times may lose already learned speech ability (Baird etal. 2006, p. 211).

Another indicatorof autism is associated with behavior patterns. A child that performsrepetitive movements including hand-flapping, spinning, and rockingis likely to be suffering from autism. Some children also act in away that could harm them such as banging their heads against hardsurfaces. The child may also be noted to moving around constantly andhaving resistance to change a behavior. Another sign is that thechild may be very interested in the details of a given objectalthough they do not have an understanding of the concept behind theentire object: for instance, focusing on the rotating wheel of a toycar but does not understand that the wheel is supposed to help thecar move around. The child may also be unusually sensitive to touch,sound, and light and at the same time seem oblivious to pain (Colvertet al. 2015, p. 417).

Most autisticchildren learn very slowly and are slow to gain skills and knowledge.There are children who portray lower than ordinary intelligence whileothers show signs of higher than ordinary intelligence. Childrenportraying higher than ordinary level of intelligence are quick tolearn but portray weaknesses in applying their knowledge andcommunicating. These children show challenges in adjusting toeveryday life and social situations that may require them to adjusttheir behaviors.

As the childrenmature, there are cases where they become more involved with othermembers of the society and portray reduced behavior disturbances.Children who portray least severe signs and symptoms may eventuallylead a normal life or near normal lives. However, there are childrenwho will continue to portray difficulties and challenges in theirfuture lives. These behavior problems may deteriorate when they reachtheir teenage years (Happe and Frith 2006, p. 6).

Effectsof to Children

Children who arediagnosed early before they reach a certain age can engage in therapythat is influential in helping them to improve their motor and socialskills. These children are likely to go on and have normal and happylives (Rogers et al. 2016, p. 825). However, children who do notengage in therapy in a timely manner may face a number of effects intheir lives. These effects include some mental problems such asanxiety and depression owing to the fact that their communication andsocial interaction skills deter them from creating meaningfulrelations with other members of the society. It is also important tonote that other impacts which have a consequence on the lives of thechildren is that they have difficulty in making and maintainingfriendships which results in social isolation and troubled romanticrelationships. This social isolation results in low self-esteem andself-confidence which contributes to challenges associated withadapting and adjusting to changing life situations and circumstances.In order to avoid these future challenges, therapy is imperative toenhance the quality of life of the children (Dene et al. 2017, p. 4).

Effectsof to Families

Different membersof a family with an autistic child are affected in different ways.Some of the family members that are affected directly are thesiblings of the autistic child. This can be attributed to the veritythat they are subjected to a stressful environment at home. Thestressful environment at home results with some siblings havingdifficulties in socializing due to the stress at home. The siblingsare also affected because they may miss out on some aspects of familylife such as going out as a family. Some siblings are also forced totake care of their autistic sibling especially in cases where theparents are overwhelmed by their occupational and family livescombined with taking care of the autistic child. The strain andneglect associated with having an autistic sibling has been found tohave long term psychological effects (Dene et al. 2017, p. 5).

The parents arealso directly affected and this manifests itself in parents becomingphysically and emotionally exhausted, depressed, and isolated due totheir responsibility of taking care of the autistic child. Theparents may also suffer from feeling guilty on the basis that theirchild is missing out. This leads to depression because of thepressure that the parent derive from feeling responsible for thesuffering that their child is going through due to their condition.Some parents may give up their jobs to take care of the child whichalso results in financial issues within the household. Parents arealso concerned that they will have to take care of their children forlife despite the fact that they have become adults. All this resultsin more strain and pressure to the parents and negatively affectstheir psychological and mental health (Mandy et al. 2014, p. 46).


There are a numberof disorders that are associated with autism. Sleep disorders is oneof the notable disorders associated with autism. Autistic people arelikely to have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Researchhas suggested that 4 out of 5 autistic children also have sleepdisorders. Another associated disorder is gastrointestinal disorderswhere autistic people are likely to suffer from chronic diarrhea orconstipation. Autistic people are also more vulnerable toinflammatory bowel conditions than other people. Many autisticchildren have been noted to suffer from gastrointestinal disordersalthough these conditions are also present in autistic parents. Otherassociated disorders include mental health problems such as anxiety,ADHD, depression, and OCD. Some autistic children and adults may alsosuffer from seizure disorders (McEwen et al. 2016, p. 162).

Therapiesand Approaches

Treating autism isa comprehensive and intensive process that involves a team ofprofessionals and the entire family. This has well been exemplifiedin Carly Flischmann’s case where a 13 year old could notcommunicate due to her speech impairment but eventually she couldcommunicate working with symbols on a computer keyboard. Her familynever gave up on her and when she was capable of speaking, sherevealed that she was an intelligent girl who was misunderstoodbecause of her condition (McKenzie, 2008). Some treatment processesmay take place in the child’s home although it is imperative toinvolve trained therapists and professional specialists. There aresome approaches where the parent may need training to be involvedwith therapy and treatment of their children.

isassociated with other disorders which mean that they will needtreatment for these disorders too. In this respect, therapy of autismshould also involve addressing such issues as gastrointestinaldisorders, seizures, and articulation disorder. requires suchtherapies as occupational therapy, speech and language therapy. Anautistic child may also require the services of gastroenterologistand neurologist to address the associated disorders and ensure thatthe cognitive and physical growth of the child is enhanced (Buescheret al. 2014, p. 724).

Roleof the Teacher

The teacher plays acritical role in dealing with an autistic child. The teacher isresponsible for teaching the child social and communication skills.In order to achieve this efficiently, it is imperative for theteacher to individually know the child and understand the child’sautism. This allows the teacher to efficiently assess how autismimpacts on the learning abilities of the child. It is important tonote that the teacher should understand that every child includingthe autistic children have their own skills. In this respect, theteacher should identify the strengths of the child and use them toteach the child new skills (Kenny et al. 2016, p. 447).

The teacher shouldalso be inspired by the story of Dibs in encouraging autisticchildren to never give up. The teacher should also not give up on astudent due to the verity that giving up on the children deterioratesthe psychological state of the children. The teacher should alsoallow the children to express their strong emotions. The teachershould understand that the reality of the emotions allows autisticchildren to deal with emotions themselves. There should also becoordination between the teacher and the parent in dealing with anautistic child (Axline 1964, p. 3).


Through thisresearch, I have learned that in a school setting, children sufferingfrom autism need to be treated with respect so that they can feelappreciated and at the same time ensure that they are offered theopportunity of acquiring skills that will make them enjoy liferegardless of their condition. As a teacher I would showunderstanding to the child so that they can feel confident aboutapproaching their condition as they grow. There is a need for thechild to be given special attention since they face difficultiesincluding cognitive and mental difficulties that hinder theirlearning process.

Changein my Attitude towards Autistic People

My existingknowledge about autism had been limited before conducting theresearch. However, I now have improved my knowledge about autism. Forinstance, I have learned that if the condition is identified anddiagnosed on its onset stages, then there is a chance that thepatient may live a normal or a near normal life. Previously, I hadbelieved that autistic people are subjected to the life challengesregardless of any intervention. I have also learned that people withautism may face challenges or they may experience energies thataffect their behaviors.

Difficultiesof Autistic Children and Adults

Children and adultssuffering from autism have challenges that are associated with twoaspects of behavior. One of the aspects is that autistic people facepersistent difficulties in social interaction and socialcommunication. For instance, it is very hard for them to start andmaintain conversations and may find it very challenging to understandsocial rules. Making friend is also another difficulty faced byautistic individuals. The other aspect is restricted activities,interests, and repetitive behavior patterns. Members of the societyhave associated these behavioral abnormalities to being queer.Members of the society who are not well versed with the disease havebeen stereotypical of autistic people due to their lack of knowledge.

Reflectionon the Girl who found her Voice

This storyhas shown that families and professionals working with autisticpeople should not give up because there is an opportunity ofimprovement with the right therapy. In this respect, the fact thatthe girl was capable of communicating her feelings and emotions is amajor milestone in her therapy which will reflect on the future lifeof the child. It is also important to note that members of thesociety should be tolerant on autistic people because their negativeattitudes, discrimination, and stereotyping against autistic peoplehave a negative effect on the progress of autistic people who areundergoing therapy.

Reflectionon Dibs: In Search of Self

This story portrayshow different therapies should be applied to help autistic children.According to Dr. Axlines, the Play Therapy approach is critical indealing with autistic children because it imparts the knowledge thatautistic children should not be restrained or pushed in rigidboundaries. Adults should also be aware that autistic children havedifferent notions from what is socially believed to be normal notionsand understanding the children is critical in the management ofautism. The story also highlights the need for adults to beunderstanding and have faith in children which in turn imparts to thechild that they are normal and can learn certain behaviors.


is a diseasethat when diagnosed early on its onset, can be managed to ensure thatchildren can live a normal or a near normal life. Orthodox medicinehas indicated that there is not treatment available for autisticpeople. However, there are therapies that have been very successfulin ensuring that autistic children and adults are given theopportunity of leading a normal life. However, it is important toinvolve a number of professional, specialists, family members, andteachers to ensure that the therapies are effective in addressing thepsychological, cognitive, and physical challenges and strengths thatare characteristic of an autistic child.


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Mandy, W., Charman, T., Puura, K. and Skuse, D., 2014. Investigatingthe cross-cultural validity of DSM-5 autism spectrum disorder:Evidence from Finnish and UK samples. , 18(1),pp.45-54.

McEwen, F.S., Stewart, C.S., Colvert, E., Woodhouse, E., Curran, S.,Gillan, N., Hallett, V., Lietz, S., Garnett, T., Ronald, A. andMurphy, D., 2016. Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder in communitysettings using the Development and Well‐BeingAssessment: validation in a UK population‐basedtwin sample. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry,57(2), pp.161-170.

McKenzie, J, 2008, Breakthrough: Girl’s Writings Explain HerBehavior and Feelings, ABC News, Retrieved on March 16, 2017from

Rogers, C.L., Goddard, L., Hill, E.L., Henry, L.A. and Crane, L.,2016. Experiences of diagnosing autism spectrum disorder: a survey ofprofessionals in the United Kingdom. , 20(7),pp.820-831.