Autism

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  • Autism
    • Symptoms
      • Problems with communicating and building social relationships
      • Low levels of imaginative thinking
      • Preference for order and organisation
      • Lower than average language abilities
      • A resistance to change
      • For each symptom, the behaviour will fall somewhere on a graded scale
    • Sex genes and hormones
      • Runs in families - genetic links
      • 3/4 of autistic people are male
      • Exaggeration of the normal male brain structure
      • Differences arise due to presence of testosterone whilst foetus is developing
      • Testosterone causes the male brain to develop differently from female
    • The exaggerated male brain
      • Structure
        • Male brain is bigger than female, but autistic is even bigger
      • Function
        • Males are stronger at spatial tasks than females and autistic people are better
        • Males develop language slower than females so people with autism are even slower
    • Females with Autism
      • Some testosterone is produced by adrenal glands in foetus so can be affected in a male way
    • Systematisers vs empathisers
      • Girls are better empathisers and boys are systematisers
      • 1 day old boys prefer mechanical movement whereas girls prefer more natural movements
        • Unlikely preferences were learned as they were so young
    • Exceptions
      • Not all people with autism have enhanced skills
      • May not be extreme males as they aren't more aggressive etc
    • Developmental disorder affecting ability to interact and communicater with others
    • Diagnosed between 18 months and 4years usually
    • Spectrum disorder

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