Statement of the problem
Autism treatment plans, treat autism as a psychiatric-behavioral disease, however, the ever-increasing population of children living with the disease require a multitude of supportive services that are not readily available. A multi-level treatment plan that encompasses integrated care of a physician, neurologist, gastroenterologist, nutritionist, psychiatrist, occupational therapist and a special educator is needed to treat the sleep and gastrointestinal disorders, nutritional deficiencies, metabolic and immune problems, seizures, psychiatric problems, and sensory sensitivities that range from mild to severe in children diagnosed with autism. The ...view middle of the document...
Renowned figures Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Lewis Carroll, Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, and Stanly Kubrick all displayed autistic characteristics without having a formal diagnoses of autism (Connelly, 2013). These individuals are proof that autism does not mean a person is mentally retarded or will be unsuccessful in life; it simply involves the perceptions and processing of the individuals surroundings. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV), the onset of symptoms in autism occurs within the first 3 years of life and includes three general categories of behavioral impairment common to all persons who have autism (Department of Health, 1999). First, qualitative impairment in social interaction-poor eye contact, resistance or stiffness when being held and not wanting to play with peers are common social indicators of children with autism (Department of Health, 1999). Secondly, qualitative impairments in communication-children who have autism often do not use gestures, such as pointing at objects to show interest, shaking their head to indicate yes or no, conveying emotion through facial expression, or engaging in mimicking (Department of Health, 1999). Third, restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interest, and activities are common in children who have autism. When excited, stressed, or upset they may flap their hands, bang their heads, rock, pace, spin on their feet, or use repetitive finger movements (Department of Health, 1999). Some children with autism demonstrate disruptive or aggressive behaviors. Autism is a neurologically based disorder of development; it is not a mental illness (Department of Health, 1999).
The rapidly ever-increasing number of children who have received a diagnosis with a disorder on the autism spectrum is cause for public health concern. Federal research on ASDs demonstrates the growing prevalence of ASDs (Rivera, Morohan, 2007). Recent studies by the CDC suggest the rate of ASDs among children is more prevalent than previously understood. According to study conducted by the CDC, nearly one in every 150 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (Rivera, Morohan, 2007). Since the early 1990s, New York State has seen a seven hundred percent increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism with thousands demanding ASD services and treatments that exceed what is available through the state (Rivera, Morohan, 2007). Current data shows that 1 and 50 children receive diagnoses of autism or a related disorder, such as Asperger’s syndrome (Lopatto, 2013).
In 2012, The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring network (ADDM), funded by the CDC, collected data and reviewed medical records of 8-year old children from 14 different areas across the country (ABC News, 2012). The data, collected from a study done by the CDC, focused on 8-year olds because most ASDs occur by a child’s 8th...