Going through the four options we had, and deciding upon the option for Developmental Disorders really opened a whole new understanding of how we look at the brain. Listening and watching the video on TED talk about the topic really showed me things that were never really talked about; at least not in-depth due to some people finding this to be a sensitive topic. When she talked about one in six children suffer from some sort of developmental disorder, it was shocking that the number was that low; though there was a slight inclination that there was always going to be a small number when talking about developmental disorders in children. One part that was unknown was that sometimes children whom are labeled as some category of autistic can potentially not be autistic at all and are actually suffering from small brain seizures unable to be pinpointed by the naked eye. Knowing there are probably hundreds of children being misdiagnosed with a developmental disorder around the world, is quite startling as the parents and the child, respectively, are both going through the struggles of which ever disorder might have formed. Many who have a certain disorder might not even know they have one. It might be because some people are afraid of hearing bad news or just don’t get an in-depth education about topics like these, they don’t realize that there are more developmental disorders than the ones heard about more than others. The top, first thought, as to what comes to mind when thinking of a developmental disorder would be the multiple forms of Down Syndrome and or Autism. Dyslexia and speech/language disorders are the ones that tend to be pushed to the side as they may not seem as “threatening” than the ones aforementioned. ADD/ADHD might be also higher up on the list, but maybe not as high as Epilepsy, seizure and sleep disorders as those can cause harm to the person with it. It’s great that more people around the world are getting into studies and projects to better the information already known. Finding resolutions and medication that will allow the percentage of someone living a “normal life” to be greater than what it used to be. Of course, no one would personally cast these disorders on anyone, even if they are extremely disliked by most. Hearing that she teamed up with a group from Harvard University and is working hard to advance technology to help children suffering from brain disorders is so empowering and shines light on the fact that her and people alike are voluntarily wanting to help the children and those with these developmental disorders.

Looking at some data and statistics given by cdc.gov about the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), “About 1 in 6 children in the United States had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.” This information ties back to Shankardass stated in the video. On the website they also give information on economic costs and the risk factors and characteristics of the average person with Autism, from medical costs to the percentage chance identical or fraternal twins have of also being autistic if one twin already has ASD.

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Reading through the HDEV5 textbook about chromosomal and genetic abnormalities it shares interesting information about some developmental disorders. When reading about these it states, “Children with fewer chromosomes usually experience health problems or behavioral abnormalities. The risk of chromosomal abnormalities rises with the age of the parents (Desai et al.,2013; Sandin et al., 2012).” Which might be something unknown to some people. And when talking about the normal characteristics of someone with Down Syndrome, “People with Down Syndrome have characteristic features that include a rounded face, protruding tongue, a broad, flat nose, and slopping fold of skin over the inner corners of the eyes”, would have a parent diagnose their children with D.S. without having to actually go to the doctors. As Shankardass explained in the video, it could be small brain seizures and not those two developmental disorders at all.

Aspennj.org gives four sections with multiple documents one can read to get an idea of what it’s like to have Autism. There’s general information, school related, social skills and bullying, as well as adult issues. In “My Mind is a Web Browser: How People with Autism Think” they talk about the contrasting ways of how someone with Autisms mind is compared to one of a non-autistic mind. Using the analogy ‘my mind is like a web browser’ to compare the speakers mind to the actual web browser itself. “A Web browser finds specific words; by analogy, my mind looks for picture memories that are associated with a word. It can also go off on a tangent in the same way as a Web browser.” Is just one of the many ways they describe how their mind works. Later on, in the article Grandin, the author of this one article, talks about how they felt different to other people but felt a specific almost animal like bond with other animals. Like their mind was of a closer connecting in similarity to animals than to humans. Speaking about how the high-pitched noises are not only sounds disturbing to animals but also to them as well. Some noises, the beeping backup noise of trucks and car alarms, are considered distressing calls between animals which activated the nervous system. It reacts the same way to some one with autism, respectively, and their nervous system increases even though they might know it’s harmless to them. 


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