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Autism Essay

  • Submitted by: SamanthaRae
  • on March 19, 2012
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,675 words

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Below is an essay on "Autism" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Over Diagnosing Autism in American Children

Autism is defined by the Autism Society of America (ASA) as a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. While once rare autism has reached epidemic proportion in the United States. The increase cannot be attributed to changes in diagnostic criteria which have actually become more restrictive or be linked to childhood immunizations. This leads many to wonder if autism is being over diagnosed in American children. Researchers have labeled the most important contextual forces of over diagnosing be the accessibility of the DSM IV, effective marketing of the pharmaceutical industry, patient and family diagnosing, and Americas need for a perfectionistic society.
Fads in psychiatric diagnosis come and go and have been with us as long as there has been a psychiatry. The fads meet a deeply felt need to explain, or at least to label, what would otherwise be unexplainable human suffering and deviance. Consequently these fads have exemplified what has become a basic background for over diagnosis. Not long ago, autism was among the rarest of disorders, afflicting only one child in every 2,000-5,000. This changed dramatically with the publication in 1994 of DSM IV (the manual of psychiatric diagnosis widely used around the world). Soon, rates exploded to about 1 per 100. And a large study in South Korea recently reported a further jump to 1 in 38 where an astounding 3% of the general population was labeled autistic (Schechter R, et al. (2008). However, the publication of the DSM made psychiatric diagnosis interesting and accessible to the general...

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