Sign In
Not register? Register Now!
14 pages/≈3850 words
35 Sources
Health, Medicine, Nursing
Research Proposal
English (U.S.)
MS Word
Total cost:
$ 39.95

Challenges faced by autism Parents in Greenwich Borough (Research Proposal Sample)


the instruction was to come up with a research proposal in the area of autism


Challenges faced by autism Parents in Greenwich Borough
Student name
Course title
Course code
Tutor name
Table of contents
1.0 Background
Autism is a severe neurobehavioral disorder involving impairment in social interaction, underdeveloped language skills and rigid repetitive behaviors (WebMd, 2015). Children with autism have difficulty in communicating with others because the lack language skills and cannot use gestures. It is because of this reason that it becomes hard to create a connection with autistic children (Badzienski, 2014). However, definitions tend to change with time depending on how technology has mitigated the situation. During the 20th century, autism was considered a very serious condition. It was common for parents to hide their autistic children for fear of victimization from the society. Some left their children at home with no education because there were no special schools for them. Autism was perceived as a life-long sentence to misery and dependence on others. It therefore does not come as a surprise when researchers Ritvo and Freeman (1977) defined autism as a "severely incapacitating life-long developmental disability which appears during the first three years of their life”. The 1977 definition shows how the society-including established scientists- thought that autistic children were beyond help.
History of autism
Early scientists in Europe documented cases of autism only that they did not refer to it as autism. The way they described the condition perfectly matches the symptoms of autism. In 1747, a 39- year -old Scottish man appeared in an Edinburgh court for a ruling on his mental capacity to contract a marriage (Wolff, 2003). His younger brother had filed a case in court to nullify his marriage so that he could take his inheritance. During those days, when an unmarried/ divorced man died, his property was distributed among his brothers. Male children born out of wedlock or from a dissolved marriage were not considered for inheritance. Although the lawsuit was driven by greed and malice, the court ruled in favor of the younger brother. Unknown to them, this became the first case of autism to be documented (even though they called it mental incapacitation). In 1809, John Haslam wrote the first book about autism (Wolff, 2003). In his book named ‘observations on madness and melancholy’, Haslam described a boy of seven having infantile convulsions, small pox inoculation and severe measeles. The boy seemed restless in his hospital bed. He was also a poor judge of distance; always trying to reach for the ceiling. When the researcher observed him at age 13, the boy’s speech had improved but he still talked in third person. Henry Maudsley wrote about autism in 1879 in a book called ‘The pathology of the mind’ that had a chapter labelled ‘the insanity of early life’ (Baron- Cohen, 2002). Maudsley described a 13-year-boy with "Moral insanity and affective insanity”. However, his description of the disease matches Asperger Syndrome but not classical autism.
In recent history, the word "autism" was coined around 60 years ago. (Gillberg & Coleman, 2000). Scientists were still arguing whether the condition really deserved a different term from "Mental insanity”. The society did not differentiate between these two cases because all were victimized in equal measure. Editors Leo Kanner and Stella Chess launched the first journal ever regarding autism in 1971 (Wolff, 2003). The Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia, as was its name, aimed at creating awareness in the medical profession regarding this new condition. The editors later renamed it as the ‘Journal of Autism and other developmental disabilities’. In 1987, researchers came up with a new journal called ‘International Journal on Autism Research’. The main aim of this journal was to share research findings with medical caregivers in hospitals. The journal highlighted new drugs designed to deal with autism and old drugs that had turned to have low efficacy levels. In 2001, the University of Birmingham in collaboration with West Midlands Autistic Society came up with a journal called ‘Good Autistic practice’. Many journals about autism have been published ever since then. Parental magazines have also played a major role in sensitizing readers about autism. With the invention of the internet came the interaction of people with various experiences with autism (Sanua, 2008). Nowadays there are online platforms where readers can post questions and receive numerous suggestions from medical professionals, psychologists and people who have had experiences with autism in their lives.
What causes autism?
There is need for more research on what causes autism. According to Hyman (2013), there have been debates among medical professionals regarding the cause of autism. One school of thought claims that the condition is genetic while the other insists on the contrary. However, both schools agree that some risk factors such as the age of the parents have a significant impact on the outcome of the progeny. Giulivi et. al (2010) found a biological discovery on the underpinning of autism. In their article published in the Journal of American Medical Association, the researchers from the University of California found out the following facts common in autistic children.
1 An acquired loss of the ability by brain cells to produce enough energy.
2 Damage to mitochondria. There were deletions in mtDNA and a defect in the copy number.
3 An increase in oxidative stress- oxidative phosphorylation capacity.
4 Reduced Nicotineamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH) oxidase.
The four findings from a study conducted on 11 autistic children show that autism is caused by defects in the pyruvic/TCA cycle of the brain cells. The defective energy producing cycle (Pyruvate or TCA) leads to under performance of the brain cells. Activities such neurotransmission and coordination are particularly energy dependent thus mitochondrial dysfunction adversely affects them. According to Olivera, Diogo and Grazina (2013), mitochondrial dysfunction may be due to numerous reasons. Top of the list is environmental toxins. The environment we are currently living in is full of chemical toxins. Toxic chemicals such as mercury have been found to cause damage to chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA. Lead was previously a raw material in the manufacture of drinking water pipes. However, research later found out that lead was a very toxic metal. Lead is responsible for numerous cases of malignant cells and mutations. Other factors responsible for mitochondrial dysfunction are;
1 Persistent organic pollutants such as polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH’s), nitroaromatic compounds, chlorinated hydrocarbons and halogenated hydrocarbons (Sparrow & Cicchet, 2000). These compounds can persist in the environment for millions of years because of their unavailability for biodegradation by most bacterial degraders.
2 Latent infection, gluten and allergens such as nuts.
3 A diet depleted of certain nutrients necessary for mitochondrial development and functioning (Hackett & Hackett, 1999).
4 Nutritional deficiencies (Hyman, 2013).
Types and Symptoms of Autism
The severity of autism varies between different individuals hence the name "spectrum disorder" (Rudy 2014). Previously, parent magazines and other non- health professionals had classified autism into three non-official spectra. Terms such as mild autism, severe autism and high functioning autism were common. Although some people still use these "classifications" to date, in 2013 there were five official diagnoses spectra (Rudy, 2014). However, within the same diagnosis there are different sets of symptoms. A spectrum describes a set of developmental delays and disorders that the affected may encounter.
The symptoms of autism spectrum disorder may vary from child to child depending on their age. The following are symptoms common in pre-school children. (, 2015).
1 Delayed speech development. The child cannot speak more than 10 different words by the age of two.
2 A repetitive set of words or phrases that sound monotonous.
3 They do not respond when their name is called out although their hearing is functional.
4 They are not receptive to cuddling and they do not respond appropriately when someone asks them to do something.
5 Having a problem in interacting with other children hence prefer to play alone.
6 The children might behave like there is no one else within the vicinity hence avoiding eye contact.
7 Repetitive behavior is also eminent. The children may keep clapping their hands or licking fingers.
8 Have an established routine and often get upset when it is altered.
Symptoms may also emerge in school-going children who did not show any Symptoms of autism during the early years. This spectrum of autism is known as Rett syndrome (Rinaldi, Jacquet & Leferbver, 2015). In school-going children, the following are the common symptoms.
1 Their speech is not well developed, they speak in the third person perspective and use repetitive phrases.
2 They do not like to interact with other children.
3 They take speech literally and do not understand irony or sarcasm.
4 Like to invade other people’s space but may be intolerant to those who come to their space.
5 Having a strong liking or dislike for a particular food.
6 Avoiding eye contact or rarely using facial expressions and gestures during communication.
Autism parents and the challenges they face.
Autism parents are people raising autistic children. Autistic children are special hence need for specialized care. Being a minority, (1 autistic birth in every 100), the needs of thes...
Get the Whole Paper!
Not exactly what you need?
Do you need a custom essay? Order right now:

Other Topics:

  • Challenges Faced by Autism Parents in Greenwich Borough
    Description: This was a research proposal for a medical student that wanted to conduct his undergraduate research on the challenges faced by autism parents...
    8 pages/≈2200 words| 35 Sources | Harvard | Health, Medicine, Nursing | Research Proposal |
  • The Stigma of Mental Health in a Muslim Society Based in the UK
    Description: Mental health care has rapidly developed over the years. The significance of mental health has been appreciated and advocated by the mainstream media globally....
    10 pages/≈2750 words| 7 Sources | Harvard | Health, Medicine, Nursing | Research Proposal |
  • A Systematic Literature Review: Is Exercise Effective for Treating Clinical Depression in Yo. . .
    Description: Exercise cured depression? Yes, it's true. Research has shown that regular physical activity can be an effective treatment for depression. From reducing stress hormones to increasing endorphins, exercise has numerous benefits for both physical and mental health....
    7 pages/≈1925 words| 10 Sources | Harvard | Health, Medicine, Nursing | Research Proposal |
Need a Custom Essay Written?
First time 15% Discount!