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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Raising awareness about Autism and Asperger Syndrome among children

Shah Rukh Khan's block buster movie 'My Name Is Khan' is a theme based love story about a child with 'Asperger syndrome'. These kind of movies help raising awareness about the kids around our society with special needs. Media is playing an important role about spreading information about kids showing abnormal behaviors.

Hollywood movies about these topics are:

o Rain Man: (1988 Golden Globe Winner for Best Film) a story of Raymond Babbitt, an autistic savant, who is being cared for by his younger brother played by actor Tom Cruise.
o Mozart and the Whale: Starring Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell, Mozart and the Whale is a story of two individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome who develop a romantic relationship after meeting at an autism support group. Mozart and the Whale, released in 2005, has drawn praise by many in the autism community for showing that individuals on the autism spectrum can and do have happy, loving relationships.
o Snow Cake: Released in 2006, Snow Cake stars Golden Globe winner Sigourney Weaver playing the role of Linda Freeman. Freeman is a high-functioning autistic who gets entwined with an ex-convict and her small town’s harlot.
o Autism the Musical: It is a documentary that follows the lives of five children with autism that write and produce their own musical. According to Blockbuster Online, “at a time when one in 150 children born in the United States is diagnosed with autism, filmmaker Tricia Regan takes an optimistic approach to this troubling trend.”

According to the Autism Research Institute, an "autistic savant refers to individuals with autism who have extraordinary skills not exhibited by most persons.”

One in every 110 children born in the Unites States will display some form of autism spectrum disorder, making it the fastest growing developmental disability.

Asperger syndrome is a developmental disorder and one type of autism spectrum disorder. Asperger syndrome develops in childhood and can impact a child's ability to socialize and communicate normally. The difference between the two disorders is that people with Asperger syndrome develop and can use language skills, while people with autism disorder have severe delays in developing language skills as a child and often lose what they have learned as they grow.

Parents should be vigilant about monitoring all aspects of their child's development and mental health. Teachers at school can also play an important role by keeping a note of kid's mental development record to identify any kind of symptoms of disability in learning.

Symptoms of ADHD: The predominant symptoms or behaviors of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These behaviors result in further symptoms, including difficulties with concentration, controlling behavior, and remaining focused on a task or activity. People with ADHD may also experience hyperactivity or over-activity.
More at:'Introduction to ADHD'

Symptoms of Autism: Problems with both verbal and non-verbal communication, trouble sharing emotions, lack of understanding of how others think and feel, or repetitive behaviors such as repeating words or actions and playing in repetitive ways.

o Impaired social interaction
o Not responding to name
o Not look at people
o Not smiling - note that normal newborns do not smile for several weeks
o Avoid eye contact

More at: 'Autism'

Related useful links:

* Autism Research Institute: 'Autism'

* Top 10 Health Resources on Autism Videos
* 'Top 10 Health Resources on ADHD Videos and compiled helpful research notes'
* ADHD and Autism- Is There a Connection?
* A recent 'Science Daily' report: 'Autism Problems Explained In New Research'
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