Subject: Healthcare Sciences and Medicine
Language: English (U.S.)
Pages: 2
Outline of autism spectrum disorder.

Outline for Autism Spectrum Disorder


The section will introduce the topic of discussion, which is autism spectrum disorder. General background information on the topic in question will be presented to give the reader a brief sneak peek into what the rest of the paper will be discussing. In addition, definitions of the disorder by various authors will be presented under this section.

·        Characteristics

The section seeks to highlight some of the characteristics of the disorder. The characteristics of the disorder play an integral role in diagnosing people, especially children with the condition. Thus, a thorough discussion of the symptoms and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder will be provided under this section.

·        Causes of ASD

Under this section, the risk factors for ASD are tentatively discussed. It is important to note at this point that the specific causes of autism have yet to be discussed. However, several risk factors that have been identified can guide one to understand how and why ASD occurs. The main risk factors to be discussed in this section include genetic risk factors, prenatal factors, and perinatal risk factors.

We shall also delve into the vaccine controversy in this section. A section of scientists had theorized that autism was because of brain damage caused by the MMR vaccine or the vaccine preservative known as thimerosal. The theory on autism etiology was flawed because it was developed under incidences of scientific misconduct. A further look into the controversy will be useful in analyzing some of the methods used in investigating the true causes of ASD.

·        Types of ASD

The section will entail a detailed description of the types of ASD that have been identified so far. According to the CDC, there are three main variants of ASD. These types include the Pervasive developmental disorder, the Autistic disorder, and the Asperger’s syndrome.

The DSM-IV was previously used to provide guidelines on the classification and types of ASD. Under this guideline, two other types of ASD were included in the group. The two types are Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder. The two are rare but severe disorders with autistic-like symptoms. A brief discussion on both the disorders will also be presented in this section.

·        Mechanism of ASD

This section will outline the pathophysiology of ASD. Pathophysiology refers to the physiological processes present when the brain is in a diseased condition or state. Studies suggest that ASD involves brain reduction in some areas and brain enlargement in others. Additionally, abnormal neuronal growth can contribute to the development of autism due to the different sizes of brain areas. Enlargement and reduction in different areas can result in too few neurons in some areas or too many neurons in other areas.

The section will look at various areas in the brain to compare their sizes to normal brains without autism. The study will focus on the temporal lobes and the mirror neuron systems of both normal brains and autism-conditioned brains. The comparison will help identify the differences and point to the potential causes of the discrepancies found. The section will also look at serotonin, mitochondrial dysfunction, and vitamin D uptake as potential pointers as to how and why ASD may develop. It has been theorized that over activity of serotonin and mitochondrial dysfunction can facilitate the development of autism spectrum disorder.

·        Diagnosis

The purpose of this section is to evaluate the various diagnostic methods used in detecting ASD. The methods to be discussed in this paper will include evidence-based assessment and comorbidity. The section will evaluate the effectiveness of each method in the detection of ASD. It is important to note that early detection is imperative for effective management of the disorder.

·        Management of ASD

Presently, there is no known cure for autism. However, individuals with Asperger syndrome usually experience a lessening of the symptoms over time. The main purpose of medication for ASD is to increase the quality of life and reduce family stress. The section will delve into the various management practices when it comes to dealing with ASD.