A.) Autism is prevalent in the United States. The disorder is probably most famous for the cognitive greatness that is entirely unique to this kind of disorder. However, this is only an inherent in autistic savants, which is a much rarer form of autism. Autistic savants often have incredible abilities in the mathematics and science fields. For example, an autistic savant named Temple Grandin built her own machine to help her cope with her avoidance of human contact.
Besides unique intelligence, autistic individuals are virtually emotionless and often have trouble forming attachments to others. Social interaction abnormalities preclude the formation of relationships partly because a simple touch – hug, pat, handshake – are rejected because of hyper arousal. Autistic children cannot stand to be touched; a simple hug from a parent or friend might send the child into a screaming fit.
B.) As a parent of a child with autism, the worst part of the illness would be the inability to hug the child. Parents can never kiss or hug their children, which is an essential part of showing affection and love. Also, the intellectual incapacities of autism are devastating.
C.) In the research study conducted by John Ratey in his book A User’s Guide to the Brain, Ratey found that autistic individuals are actually the key to scientific and mathematical progress. His studies are based on the progress of Temple Grandin, who was successful in measuring her own social abnormalities and building machines to teach herself how to interact ‘normally’ with others.
D.) I enjoyed the doctor’s article. After reading about Temple’s charting and statistical readings and the production on her own ‘hugging’ machine so she could practice being hugged again, the progress of science and mathematics can indeed be greatly helped by autistic savants.
E.) How long will it be before Temple Grandin’s machines are mass produced to help all autistic children?
Can autism be avoided in the future through genetic engineering technology?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
A.) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is becoming more prevalent amongst children adolescents in each passing year. Intellectually this disorder has no influence upon perception or cognitive functions directly. However, the inability to sit still or focus on an assignment or a book can hinder progress in different academic subjects.
Socially, ADHD sufferers are usually overly-talkative and constantly moving around – pacing, making broad, abnormal gestures while speaking, etc.. As a result, awkwardness, incessant loquacity, and hyper behavior can cause deter others. Emotionally, it is difficult for affected individuals to form long-lasting relationships because of the aforementioned social difficulties.
B.) As a parent, the most difficult aspect of this illness would be watching the child struggle with his studies. Frustration is common in ADHD children because they are usually interested in several things at once, making it nearly impossible to concentrate. Of course, there are pharmaceuticals that can lessen these symptoms – the most famous being Ritalin. Medicinal treatment is very successful, but it can also be quite devastating to the parent to realize his child is going to have to take pills to function properly for the entirety of his life.
Ratey, John J.. A User’s Guide to the Brain. New York: Pantheon Books. 2001
Steward, Herbert. Mental Illnesses and the Future of Medicine. New York: Pocket Books. 2004