The essay about autism

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Autism is a spectrum illness marked by difficulties with repetitive behaviors, social skills, nonverbal and vocal communication, as well as unique traits and strengths. The illness manifests itself between the ages of three and two years and can be recognized at the age of eighteen months (Goldberg, 2014). Furthermore, the disease is thought to be caused by a variety of environmental and hereditary factors. Autism affects one out of every 68 children in the United States, with one-third of those affected remaining nonverbal (Isaksen, Diseth, Schjlberg, & Skjeldal, 2013). Dyspraxia, epilepsy, depression, anxiety disorder, learning disability, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are the most common symptoms. Although several media sources are attributing the autism epidemics to the isolated genetic individuals, environmental toxins and vaccines, there is no autism outbreak.

The prevalence of autism has increased over the past decades, but this can be explained to the improved diagnosis and the broadening of case definitions rather than the breakout. Initially, prevalence relies on the explanation of what makes the case such that when the case is extended, the prevalence also jumps. For the past forty years, the case definition of detecting autism has expanded making the rate of autism to increase (Goldberg, 2014). With the effective edition of the international classification of illnesses and diagnostic and statistical manual, the procedure for assessing autism has expanded from the uniformly fatal malady to the ailment with extremely mild forms. Every time the investigative criteria have extended, the prevalence of the condition increases although it does not illustrate that more people are disabled than before and infants with autism are not born frequently (Isaksen et al., 2013).

Before 1990, the figure of children diagnosed with autism in learning institutions was zero according to the federal statistics (Isaksen et al., 2013). The non-existent of kids with autism by that time does not indicate that there were children without the condition, but it is because the government added the disorder as the reimbursable and diagnosable condition by 1990 as a portion of the people with disability edification act. Before the act, kids with autism were considered as people who are emotionally disturbed, and there was no checkbox on the government reporting. The explosion of autism can be attributed to the 1990 act that made the disease diagnosable hence attracting several scientist and experts to research on new means of assessment and treatments (Isaksen et al., 2013).

The current DMS criteria have the ability to include several individuals than before making the prevalence to increase which people term as the epidemic. There are several and distinct DSM versions which have diagnostic procedures for autism that have become continuously more exclusive and inclusive. The existing DSM criteria have inherently lead to the augmented number of people with autism since it can include individuals with other problems such as schizophrenia (Isaksen et al., 2013). The 1980 DSM version required people to meet the six criteria for the autism detection while the 1994 and the current version require an individual to meet any eight of the sixteen tests. Besides, the previous DSNM had only two diagnoses linked to autism, but the current DSM contains five diagnoses comprising the Asperger's syndrome which is considered as the high-function alternative of autism. The diagnostic criteria have expanded which has made the number of children identified with autism to increase. The epidemic cannot be attributed to the changes in detection procedures since the population is the same.

The notion of the autism epidemic is based on the vaccine as the root problem of which it is not correct. The main causes of autism are mysterious although various studies illustrate that genetic factors play a major role in the onset. However, the causal agent of the condition has been proposed to comprise viruses, antibiotics, allergies, increased rate of television watching in kids and enhanced chances for guardians with mild autistic genes to meet and mate (Goldberg, 2014). The link between autism and vaccines was fueled in 1998 study which illustrated that the children manifested symptoms immediately after receiving the injection. However, the recently published research has not linked vaccine with autism. The results of various large European, Japanese and American studies have demonstrated that even if the rate of vaccination has declined or remained constant, the prevalence of autism diagnoses has increased. Furthermore, the Danish administration ceased the provision of thimerosal-bearing vaccines, but the rates of autism continued to amplify (Isaksen et al., 2013). Linking vaccine as the cause of autism epidemic is not real since injection and immunization started a long time ago, and the detection rates remained low. Besides, associating vaccine and autism outbreak indicates that the whole world is experiencing the epidemic despite the evidence that the condition is caused by the combination of different factors that are not common in distinct parts of the globe.

Currently, parents and schools are very keen with children such that abnormal trait can be detected easily. Previously, some traits such as social isolation and other signs of autism were considered as milestones for child development. Kids were considered to be new in the world thus required time to adapt the dynamic environment (Isaksen et al., 2013). However, there has been an advocate for autism in the social media, learning and health institutions which have made parents have extra careful with their children’s behaviors. In combination with the expanded diagnostic procedures, the extra care has increased the prevalence of autism. Children who are having other conditions with symptoms that are similar to those of autism are diagnosed with the condition as long as they can meet eight of the recommended criteria.

The increased prevalence of autism is because of amplified mating of geeks who are considered to have autism genes. Autism is believed to be caused by more than single genes hence if two individuals who have dominant genes that can result in the condition mate, they give birth to children with the disorder. There are augmented number of individuals with evident autistic traits in the various profession including technology, engineering, and computer science. (Isaksen et al., 2013) Various autistics are drawn to such professions particularly if there are links with computers. The increased mating between people with the autistic trait is because of the technology and improved means of communication. People from different parts of the world can meet via online or other modern means and decide to date.

The rise of autism prevalence is attributed to the lifestyle change and new technology. The globe is dynamic and many things including the way children are nurtured have changed for the past decades. Current lifestyle promotes sedentary and indoor living making children to develop autism symptoms. The majority of children in the United States spend most of their time in school or the house during holidays playing computer games or watching television (Goldberg, 2014). Moreover, many children are not allowed to get out of their houses to play with their neighbors which make them feel isolated and lonely hence having issues with the social life. Watching television and playing computer games are addictive which makes children remain indoors and restrict themselves from interacting with other kids in the neighborhoods. Furthermore, some movies and television shows contain images and characters that make kids to develop bad relations with their parents and siblings (Isaksen et al., 2013). Also, the majority of mothers in the United States are working thus their kids are left with house girls or in the baby care facilities which makes them feel neglected.

Conclusively, the increased prevalence of autism is not an epidemic but is due to different changes in the lifestyle and expansion of diagnostic criteria. The diagnostic criteria for autism have extended making several people diagnosed with the condition. Besides, the current detection criteria contain sixteen procedures which are inclusive thus increasing the number of children with autism. Furthermore, the world has changed making children to spend most of their free time watching television rather than playing with other kids. Staying alone in the house makes kids feel isolated which leads to symptoms of autism. Moreover, the autism outbreak cannot be linked to vaccines since the current research has illustrated that there is no connection between autism and injection. The rate of autism has remained constant, but the expansion of the detection criteria and reporting of the cases has made the prevalence to look like an outbreak.


Goldberg, M. J. (2014). The Myth of Autism: How a Misunderstood Epidemic Is Destroying Our Children, Expanded and Revised Edition. New York: Skyhorse Publishing.

Isaksen, J., Diseth, T. H., Schjølberg, S., & Skjeldal, O. H. (2013). Autism Spectrum Disorders - Are they really epidemic? YEJPN European Journal of Paediatric Neurology, 17(4), 327–333.

April 26, 2023

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