How would you describe autism in a single paragraph?

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r2d2
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29 Nov 2014, 6:03 am

I've been struggling with finding a short, single paragraph, simple and straightforward definition that is not simply a list of diagnostic criteria that describes autism from the most mild form to the most severe. I wonder if this comes pretty close:

People who have autism from the most mild to the most severe form have a neurology that causes them to sensory overload. This sensory overloading impairs to varying degrees the social interaction skills of the person with autism. This sensory overloading also results in the person with autism to varying degrees withdrawing into their own world and/or shutting down.

Perhaps you have a somewhat different single paragraph description?


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zooguy
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29 Nov 2014, 5:47 pm

I sat there are two parts to it firast is what you said and that was good. Second is that our brain is physically wired different so our thought patterns are not in sync with the none autistic. I think we think more in a matter of fact stright forward manner, where as none autistic thinks a more social/materialistic manner. So to me combine the two into one paragrph and you got it. my thoughts a penny and a half's worth



GregCav
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29 Nov 2014, 5:56 pm

Type that question into Google; There are many good one paragraph descriptions, including dictionary descriptions.



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29 Nov 2014, 8:44 pm

How about...

"Ever since I can remember, I've felt like I was standing outside a huge glass enclosure, looking in on a party to which I was not invited. Even though occasionally someone on the inside will invite me to join the party, I can not find the entrance, and no one will give me directions to it. I can see that people are having a good time, but I can not tell exactly what they are doing. As I get older, I perceive even more transparent structures with even more people having even more fun on the inside, while I stand outside wondering what the hell is going on and having no idea how to join them."

It's the paragraph I wrote for my assessment.


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29 Nov 2014, 9:29 pm

Autism is defined as a disorder impairing social interaction combined with a repetitive behaviors. It's fundamentally caused by a difference in processing information, which can manifest in many different ways. Common symptoms include sensory processing abnormalities, slower processing speed, and difficulty in reading nonverbal cues. This difference isn't necessarily negative, sometimes it results in outstanding cognitive feats, but people with autism still need assistance with functioning in our society.


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catlady2323
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29 Nov 2014, 10:15 pm

r2d2 wrote:
I've been struggling with finding a short, single paragraph, simple and straightforward definition that is not simply a list of diagnostic criteria that describes autism from the most mild form to the most severe. I wonder if this comes pretty close:

People who have autism from the most mild to the most severe form have a neurology that causes them to sensory overload. This sensory overloading impairs to varying degrees the social interaction skills of the person with autism. This sensory overloading also results in the person with autism to varying degrees withdrawing into their own world and/or shutting down.

Perhaps you have a somewhat different single paragraph description?


This describes my experience pretty accurately. An interesting interview was published here at Wrong Planet by the authors of an article published in "Frontiers in Neuroscience". The authors hypothesized that "Based on recent synaptic, cellular, molecular, microcircuit, and behavioral results obtained with the valproic acid (VPA) rat model of autism, we propose here a unifying hypothesis where the core pathology of the autistic brain is hyper-reactivity and hyper-plasticity of local neuronal circuits. Such excessive neuronal processing in circumscribed circuits is suggested to lead to hyper-perception, hyper-attention, and hyper-memory, which may lie at the heart of most autistic symptoms. In this view, the autistic spectrum are disorders of hyper-functionality, which turns debilitating, as opposed to disorders of hypo-functionality, as is often assumed. We discuss how excessive neuronal processing may render the world painfully intense when the neocortex is affected and even aversive when the amygdala is affected, leading to social and environmental withdrawal. Excessive neuronal learning is also hypothesized to rapidly lock down the individual into a small repertoire of secure behavioral routines that are obsessively repeated."
-- Henry Markram, Tania Rinaldi, and Kamila Markram

The authors are proposing this as a unifying theory of autism known as "Intense World Syndrome", which would explain the various ways in which autism presents, from the mildest to the most severe forms.

I have experienced the world as too intense for over 5 decades, and it has led to my withdrawal from social activities and most environments. I have all three of the classic characteristics listed here; hyper-perception, hyper-attention, and hyper-memory. Fortunately I am able to work from home and have learned to navigate the outside world to accommodate my extreme sensitivity to noise, light, crowds, etc.

I think your paragraph summarizes the "Intense World Syndrome" pretty well. :)


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r2d2
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02 Dec 2014, 7:57 am

Ganondox wrote:
Autism is defined as a disorder impairing social interaction combined with a repetitive behaviors. It's fundamentally caused by a difference in processing information, which can manifest in many different ways. Common symptoms include sensory processing abnormalities, slower processing speed, and difficulty in reading nonverbal cues. This difference isn't necessarily negative, sometimes it results in outstanding cognitive feats, but people with autism still need assistance with functioning in our society.


I would have to say that sound like pretty damned good one paragraph description to me.


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