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  • Created by: Bex161
  • Created on: 04-05-15 16:59

Autism is often characterised by severe deficits in social and communication skills as well as language and imagination.Research from Baron-Cohen (1995) showed that autisitc children failed the false belief test, which in turn shows tha autistic children lack theory of mind.Other features of Autism include: Obsession with details, the inability to cope with loud sounds and the preference to stick to a routine.

One previous cause for autism was thought to be the MMR vacine, which is administered to young children, however this has now been proven to not be the case. Speculation now exisits to show that genetics may be the cause of autism.

The use of twin studies allow for research into autism via genetics to be conducted.Several types of twin studies can be utilised including the use of identical twins, non- identical twins and identical twins who are reared apart.Identical twins (referred to as Monozygotic twins) are when a single egg splits into two. Monozygotic twins share 100% of their genes with one another as well as their environment.Non- Identical twins (referred to as Dizygotic twins) are when two eggs are fertilised by two sperm. Dizygotic twins share 50% of their genes with one another as well as their environment. Finally identical twins who are reared apart share 100% of their genes with one another, however they do not share the same environment throughout their childhood.

As previously stated the cause of autism is most likely due to genetics, and the utilisation of twin studies allows for progression to be made with this theory. Using this theory, Monozygotic twins have a higher chance of having autism than Dizygotic twins, due to the shared genetics. Genes on chromosomes 22 and 7 are associated with increased chances of autism.

When diagnosing autism, the autisic spectrum is commonly used as there are varying types of autism. Autisitc spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental condition with deficits in communication and language, reciporocal social interaction and the flexibility of thought and behaviour. Another form of autism would be Asperger's syndrome. Asperger's is a mild form of autism, without the linguistic and cognitive deficits. However there is controversy over whether Asperger's actually exists.

It can be argued that autism can be linked to other disorders. One


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