Autism is not a disorder that has not the same severity for every individual having it, so it affects individuals differently. In the extreme conditions of autism, epilepsy, sleeping problems, mental retardation and aggression can be observed.
Are Autism and Mental Retardation the Same?
In fact, an individual has mental retardation not because he/she is a person with autism. On the contrary, 70% of children having mental retardation also have autism. Children with mental retardation may exhibit autistic behavior although they do not show all the symptoms of autism.
The mental abilities of children with autism does not improve sufficiently. In general, 50% of children with autism were found to have intelligence below 50. In children who have severe autism, these symptoms are observed intensely, while in children with mild autism, speech, language and communication skills are acquired faster and they are able to receive the same education with their peers.
Criteria for Diagnosis of Mental Retardation
Mental retardation can be observed at different rates in autism. In order to diagnose mental retardation in an individual, he/she has to be under 18 years of age. If an individual under the age of 18 is experiencing communication problems, unable to meet his or her specific needs after puberty, cannot benefit from the opportunities available in the society, is insufficient about the health and safety issues, and he/she has at least two of these symptoms, then he/she is diagnosed with mental retardation.
Levels of mental retardation
Levels of mental retardation are analyzed in 4 groups:
At mild mental retardation, intelligence level is between 50-55 and 70. Even though they have difficulties in speaking, they do not have problems in daily conversations. Motor development is normal and they can do routine work. 85% of the people with mental retardation are in this group. When they become adults, they can live on their own, can have social and professional skills.
In moderate mental retardation, level of intelligence is between 35-45 and 50-55. They experience lack of speaking, comprehension, motor skills and self-care skills with respect to their peers. They need special training. While they succeed in reading and writing at the second grade level, they also learn how to count. Adults with moderate mental retardation can work in jobs that require moderate skills.
The level of intelligence in severe mental retardation is between 20-25 and 35-40. There is a noticeable lack of motor skills. They have very low speaking skill which develops late. They need help of others throughout their lives.
Those with extreme mental retardation are those whose intelligence level is below 20-25. These constitute only 1-2% of the individuals with mental retardation. They have severe lack of motor skills. They can hardly understand even simple instructions. They are totally dependent on someone else and due to brain injury, they experience epilepsy, visual and hearing impairment and limitation of movement.
Extraordinary Abilities in Individuals with Autism
There are many people with autism who are famous in history with their extraordinary talents although some label autism as mental retardation. Einstein, Mozart and Tesla are just a few of them. In fact, the American animal scientist, Temple Grandin who has autism has remarkable quotes about the subject.
“Without autism, people would still be sitting around the fire in the caves today. Without autism, neither Silicon Valley exists, nor can there be a solution to the energy problem.” Grandin is an individual with autism who is in the Heroes category of the 100 most influential people in the world. Grandin, who is very fortunate that her mother is a very conscious woman, has directed her life due to her science teacher who supports her academic ability, even though she has had a difficult childhood. Grandin, a scientist who says that many engineers in the Valley of Silicon carry autistic genes, says that many individuals with autism are very successful in graphic design, computer science, photography, software engineering, industrial design, mathematics and computer programming.
Computer Applications Providing Educational Support
Intensive and uninterrupted education in the treatment of mental retardation and autism are crucial for these children to develop their skills and to have the same skills as their peers. Otsimo is a free educational gaming platform that is high quality and effective application that allows you to continue education at home on computers, tablets and mobile phones, and it helps children with autism to be accepted to public schools at the rate of about 90% after 2 years of uninterrupted training.
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