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Section A.5 - Explanation of Autistic Deficits

B. Deficits in Autism (Negative Symptoms)

The question remains as to whether this stress response model can provide a better explanation than other existing models for the behaviors exhibited by persons, particularly children, who are diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Below are some attempts at such explanations. Please note that every individual on the autism spectrum is unique. What may hold true for one will be different for another. A vast number of other factors including biology, upbringing, social class, country of origin, and family structure impact who we become and how we behave. However, the key is to look at the patterns of behaviors.

     1. Perceptual Abnormalities

Autistic individuals for the most part don’t experience the world the way normal people do. Due to their excessively excitatory nervous systems, sensory information flows up to their brain without an adequate level of filtering. This creates a nervous system that has a hard time ignoring the enormity of the sensory world around it and ascribing relevance in a normal human fashion. It also creates a nervous system that, as discussed below, shifts the balance between integration and specialization towards specialization. The interplay between excessive excitation with less effective integrative neural communication result in perceptual abnormalities that reduce the autistic individual’s ability to function in the modern human world...

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