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Combating an American Epidemic: A Look At Autism

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  1. Introduction
  2. What Is Autism?
  3. Treatment
  4. Occupational therapy
  5. Music therapy
  6. Respite care
  7. Autism as a major issue facing Americans today
  8. Bibliography

Today, our country is in the midst of a major epidemic. Our children are being overtaken by a debilitating disorder that leaves them and their families devastated. The Center for Disease Control estimates that one in one hundred fifty children are born with this affliction. In fact, more children will be diagnosed with this disorder this year than juvenile AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. With so many people affected it is hard to believe that there is so little being done to stop the widespread effect of this ailment (Autism Speaks). The disorder in question is autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Autism is a complex disorder that affects both the sufferers and their families and deserves awareness and funding. Though little is known about autism there are many strides that are being made in order to treat and better understand the disorder as a whole.

[...] There is a large social group in Bloomington, Illinois that is run through the psychology department at Illinois Wesleyan University. This group has been very successful in its nine years of existence and encourages other campuses to get involved in a similar way. Until recently the United States government has done very little in terms of funding for autism research and aid. In fact, less than was being spent on research funding than is spent on less prevalent childhood diseases. [...]

[...] In respite care a person is hired by the family to come to the home and either takes the child out for an hour or two for different activities or stays at home and let the parents go out for awhile. Respite care people usually come about once a week and are a great resource for family members in this stressful lifestyle. To provide respite to a family a person should talk to the teachers in the special education department of a school to see which families need assistance. [...]

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