Autism Research and Studies
Autism research and studies are ongoing, with many different organizations supporting research efforts. They focus on three major areas:
- Finding causes
- Finding cure
- Developing effective therapy
Finding the possible causes of autism is a very important issue because the cause may point to effective treatments, and possibly, a cure. For now, there are no known causes for pervasive developmental disorders. Some studies point to genetic causes while others point to possible environmental causes. Possible causes include:
Other environmental factors may be considered in some autism research and studies. Statistics can help uncover possible causes of autism spectrum disorders. The statistics offer insight into the prevalence of autism as well.
Finding causes for autistic disorders may lead to finding cures. Research includes biomedical treatments for autism, some of which are controversial. Curing autism may be a subject of debate with many people viewing the conditions as a way of being rather than a disorder. Many others embrace the idea of curing autism. Recovery from autistic disorders is debatable, too. Some argue that a child who recovers from autism was simply misdiagnosed. Others contend that the child is demonstrating artificial responses as she learns how to change her behaviors and communication skills.
Developing Effective Therapies
Behavioral therapy is among the most effective treatment approaches. Among the most outstanding is applied behavioral analysis (ABA). ABA therapy breaks down tasks into small, doable steps. The child is able to make connections between images, spoken words and actions. The fundamental give-and-take exchange that many children develop normally often has to be taught to kids on the spectrum. As research into how the autistic brain differs from the neurotypcial brain can help uncover strategies to help people on the spectrum process information effectively.
The Nature of Autism
The latest trends in autism research continue to explore the four main areas of concern. While some autistic disorders, like Asperger's syndrome, may be differences rather than disorders, studies and research can still give insight into the nature of the differences, which can lead to tolerance, acceptance and understanding.