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Autism is one of the most severe and disruptive of all childhood disorders - a level of disruption that of course lasts well into adulthood. With both genetic and environmental elements at work in it, autism (which affects boys at least three times more often than girls and is found in all races and throughout the world) is a communicative disorder that interferes with an individual's ability to form social relationships as well as to communicate with others. This paper examines this particular disability and argues that at least for schoolchildren with autism a program of behavioral analysis can prove to be highly effective in treating this complex disability.

Autism is distinguished by a number of often dramatic and sometimes even violent symptoms that often prevent autistic children from being educated in non-special education classrooms. However, while special-education classrooms are often the best educational arena for autistic children, the autistic individual's behavior - which is primarily marked by significant withdrawal from the world and an extreme aversion to entering the social spaces of other people as well as by a range of behaviors that may appear bizarre to others - mean that the autistic child may fair very poorly in special-education classrooms in which other children do not themselves have sufficiently well-developed social skills to recognize the needs of the autistic child. Any intervention that has a significant chance of helping an autistic child must take into account the specific nature of the condition (Smith etal 1994). Paluszny, M. (1979). Autism: A Practical Guide for Parents and Professionals. NY: Syracuse University Press.

The etiology of autism has remained difficult for researchers to determine precisely and is a subject beyond the scope of this paper. This discussion focuses on intervention therapies for the autistic child and specifically on those forms of therapy based in behavioral analysis ...

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Autism. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 12:17, August 06, 2020, from