Autism is referred to as a complex development disorder that affects the normal brain function. Generally individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder will have deficits in learning, communication, and social functions. Onset and discovery of disorder is present in the first three years of life.
Autism is a unique disorder that has a wide variety of problems and outcomes based on the severity of the disorder and the time and appropriate interventions taken throughout the developing years and onward. I choose to write about this topic mainly for my own knowledge and education. I was caring for an autistic client a few weeks back and learned a lot from the experience. I began to question many things about autism spectrum disorder, treatments and outcomes and figured this would be a great opportunity for myself to advance my own knowledge base and information.
Some of the questions I began to ask myself when caring for a client that was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder were, Is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) a real disorder or a overused excuse? Do ASD clients deserve or need special education and individualized interventions? Could better patient outcomes and quality of life be achieved with structured education, time, and exposure? Should there be government mandates like No Child Left Behind for clients with ASD and required specialized and individualized education goals and teaching to meet minimum requirements?
I began asking these questions because of a friend of mine who is an educator in the public school system and specializes in special education. He has stated to me on occasions that Autism has to much money, time and energy spent for not a real purpose. Everyone seems to have some deficits in communication, learning, and social relationships and subsequently many individuals are being diagnosed, assessed and treated for a mental health diagnosis that has no real relevance or depth to the disorder. I never really probed or dived further into discussion but after seeing the Autistic client in the healthcare setting, I decided I needed to learn and pay more attention to those with special learning and developmental disabilities. I hope this webliography will provide you with a plethora of resources to learn, grow, and increase your knowledge and competence for clients with ASD as it has for me.
I plan to close this post with a couple of articles I ran across when diving through the topic that is showing current research, outcomes, and interventions for clients with ASD.
Some inclusion criteria I use for validity and criteria to pick qualities sites for reference, education, and knowledge follows an acronym called ADEP
A – Author and Audience
Who is the author of the specific site. Who was the site intended for? Educators, common individual and/or health care providers?
D – Date
What is the date it was published? How current is the research or information? I believe that all websites used as a reference for current data, research, and information should be no longer than 5-7 years old simply because health care is constantly changing, evolving, and becoming more and more complex. Research, knowledge and information that is longer than 7 years old could mean that the information is no longer relevant.
E – Experience and Expertise
What experience does the author or publisher have? How much of the experience is correlated to the topic or idea being discussed? If the author has primary experience in business and accounting and is publishing an article on relevant treatments and interventions for individuals with complex congenital abnormalities, is the information relevant? Is it reliable? I do not believe so therefore, I try to include sites or references that have authors with relevant experience and expertise to the topic being discussed.
P – Publicity and Publication
Is the topic found on a credible site that actively publishing articles, research and information in known journals, sites, and papers. Is the website a .gov, .edu, .org website. Generally these websites are going to be more reliable than the traditional .com website. There is so much out there on the world wide web therefore anyone can post just about anything about anything. Therefore, I try to stay to websites that are group, organization, or government sites with multiple authors and editors to ensure more accuracy of the information.
I hope this acronym helps you in your inclusion criteria for articles, websites, references and information. It is something that I thought of when looking over criteria and what I valued in websites and figured it can help you as well.
PubMed – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002494/
PubMed is a great research database apart of the National Library of Medicine. I really enjoy this website because of the depth of information provided for manifestations and signs/symptoms of ASD. The information is easy to read and understand and is great for the individual with little medical knowledge. It breaks the signs/symptoms and physical manifestations by categories such as communication, social interaction, responses to sensory information, play and behavior deficits/problems. Check it out if you are curious about ASD or may suspect someone of being autistic, it can provide you a clear picture of what the ASD diagnosis criteria involves.
CDC – http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html
CDC is a great research database for a wide variety of diseases. It is great reference for statistical data information such as disease prevalence, correlations between the disease state, location, and IQ tests. It also provides a great link to current research and who is currently working to gather and research ASD to better understand the disorder.
Mayo Clinic – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/autism/DS00348
Mayo Clinic is great research reference for a broad spectrum of diseases, diagnoses, drugs, and treatments. I really referenced Mayo Clinic for the information provided on alternative therapies and prevention. You need to check it out for yourself. I agree 100% with Mayo Clinic and there advocacy on prevention of Autism. I will not spoil it, check it for yourself. It also is easy to understand and read and provides a brief overview of information and on ASD and its treatments and what to expect with provided care and love for those with ASD.
Autism Research Institute – http://www.autism.com/
ARI is a great website for individuals of a variety of backgrounds to gather information on Autism. It is a great site for families, educators, healthcare providers and individuals with ASD. It provides links to podcasts, education, information, and resources for all individuals to learn and grow. The Families section of the website gives information on autism and helping encourage, motivate, and provide hope for families of those with ASD to help them cope and accompany them in support. It is a great networking site from ASD individual and families to health care providers.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes – http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm
This is a great research/reference site dedicated to the research of neurological and stroke disorders. It has a overview of the diagnosis of Autism, current presentation and signs/symptoms of the disorder, diagnostic criteria, and treatment/interventions for those diagnosed with Autism. If you are curious as to what ASD is, then give this site a few moments of your time. It can help you understand the disorder and the diagnosis and the possible and current treatment regimens for those with Autism.
Autism Speaks – http://www.autismspeaks.org/
Autism Speaks is a phenmonial website that has information about ASD, treatments, ways to be involved, how to raise awareness. The website is jam packed with news highlights, science research, bloggs, and information to to provide advocacy for clients and families who experience ASD at its fullest. If you are wanting to see how Autism is being talking about, discussed, and advocated for in the media then please give this site a few moments of your time.
Medical News Today – http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/sections/autism/
I love this website because it is like the hyperlink of hyperlinks. You can click on this link to get the whats new about autism across the last few months and years. It provides links for those with limited knowledge to educate on what Autism is and its pertaining presentation of those with ASD. The main reason I referenced this link for you is the abundance of news articles pertaining to autism across the last few weeks, months, and years. If you are looking for information and articles on autism news then please check out this website.
I can say that these are simply references and resources to better gather information about ASD and help many individuals of a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to learn and grow about ASD.
I will conclude this blog post and Autism Webliography with some current research and information circulating the news/media about Autism in the Spring of 2012.
Kansas City Star News Paper
This article is talking a lot about the prevalence of Autism and the climbing rates of occurrence.
Great Book on Treatments and Interventions for Parents and Professionals
I appreciate your time reading my webliography. I hope you enjoyed the posted references and resources. Please feel free to comment and discuss the posted information here.
Last question for discussion:
Is Autism a real Mental Health Diagnosis or simple an Overused Excuse? Thoughts? Concerns? Comments?
Have a great Day