What is Autism Essay

This essay has a total of 247 words and 2 pages.


what is Autism





In 1943, Leo Kanner, an American psychiatrist, was the first to describe the disorder
known as Autism. Since then much research has been done about Autism, such as: what is
Autism (and the classifications of Autism), the special cases of Autistic savants, and
cures/medication for Autism. These three areas will be the basis of my paper. The first
area being ‘what is Autism?’

This question can best be answered by looking at the DSM-IV. In this new edition,
released in 1994, Autism falls under Pervasive Developmental Disorders. In the DSM-IV
Pervasive Developmental Disorders were changed from being coded on Axis II, in the
DSM-IIIR, to being coded on Axis I. This shows optimism and a good outlook for anyone
affected by Autism. The main difference between Axis I and Axis II is that Axis II is
reserved for long-term, stable disorders with poor prognosis for improvement. This is
mainly because some signs of Autism can improve with treatment, whereas mental retardation
is usually permanent (Edelson, 1995).

According to the DSM-IV, for a diagnosis of Autism to be made there are three areas looked
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