Autism

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  • Autism
    • Autism Facts
      • Developmental disorder
        • affects individuals ability to interact and communicate with other
      • Diagnosis
        • between 18 months and 4 years old
      • Symptoms
        • Low levels of imaginative thinking
        • Lower than average language abilities
        • Problems with communicating and building social relationships
        • Preference for order and organisation
        • A resistance to change
      • Spectrum disorder
    • Sex genes, hormones and autism
      • Genetics link
        • Tends to run in families
        • 3/4 people with autism are male
      • 3/4 people with autism are male
      • Differences arrive because of presence of testosterone in uterus while foetus develops
        • At 8 weeks gestation the testes or ovaries have formed and begin to release sex hormones
          • Testosterone causes the male brain to develop
          • Oestrogen causes a female brain to develop
          • More testorsterone = more 'male' brain = autism?
            • exaggeration of a normal male brain
      • Baron-Cohen at al.
        • exaggeration of a normal male brain
    • Exaggerated male brain
      • Baron-Cohen at al.
        • Structure
          • Females: smaller than a male brain
          • Male: Larger than a female brain
          • Autistic: Brain even larger than that of a male
        • Spatial Tasks
          • Females: worse at spatial tasks than males
          • Autistic: Even better at spatial tasks
          • Males: Better at spatial tasks than females
        • Language
          • Females: develop language quickly
          • Males: develop language slower than females
          • Autistic: develop language even slower than males
      • Gender differences
        • Females
          • Some testosterone produced by adrenal glands
            • possibility female brain can be affected by this
            • explain why some females affected by autism
        • Baron-Cohen
          • Boys
            • systematisers (understanding rules and constructing systems)
            • preferred mechanical movement (eg a ball mounted on a stick)
          • Girl
            • empathisers (predicting and responding to others' emotional need)
            • preferred natural movement (eg movement on researchers face)
          • used one day old babies. It is unlikely that their preferences reflected a learned behaviour
      • Evaluation of 'Extreme Male Brain'
        • For
        • Against
          • This theory of maleness as a mild form of autism
            • This uses biology to explain a very culturally specific idea of geeky masculinity
            • This uses biology to legitimize the delegation of all familial and relationship responsibilities to women
    • Symptoms
      • Low levels of imaginative thinking
      • Lower than average language abilities
      • Problems with communicating and building social relationships
      • Preference for order and organisation
      • A resistance to change

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