Many autistic children seem to be withdrawn from their surroundings, a place they are perfectly happy to be in, living in their own worlds. Many are also hyperactive have and trouble sleeping. Even for a moment, it seems to be impossible to shut off their brains. They cannot shut it all off. According to the latest findings in a University of Toronto and Case Western Reserve University joint study, the truth of the matter is the brain of the autistic mind working an average of 42% more. What does this mean?
Autism is an interesting disorder. Many specialists might prefer to use the word “condition”. Some even call it a disorder, because with different neurons firing about the brain’s structure becomes disordered. Twin studies have shown autism as a genetic disorder aggravated by environmental aspects due to an extremely high prevalence among identical twins, compared with fraternal or siblings of different ages.
The brain of an autistic child seems to never stop. This might account the manifestation of savantism or high-functioning gifted attributes as well as their behavior. It does not mean a child diagnosed with a spectrum disorder has a low IQ. They may simply be misunderstood and one of the smartest in their classroom.
Following up on a previous discovery, according to lead investigator Dr. Roberto Fernández Galán, the brains of autistic children were unique, with different connections made within. “Our results suggest that autistic children are not interested in social interactions because their brains generate more information at rest, which we interpret as more introspection in line with early descriptions of the disorder.”
What was discovered is that the “Intense World Theory”, referring to the autistic mind as the result of the hyper-functioning of brain circuitry leading to over-stimulation, is quite certainly correct because the brain is a complex structure in itself. This means the daily norm for the autistic individual; including hyper-perception, hyper-attention, hyper-memory and hyper-emotionality is absolutely impossible for the neurotypical individual to comprehend. The theory proposes the autistic individual becomes trapped in a highly secure, but limited internal world with minimal surprises and extremes. An increase in average brain activity of 42% during rest is not a little number. It is absolutely fascinating and mind-boggling when one begins to explore the most minuscule details, only to find something as magnanimous as this study’s findings. In order to recuperate, the brain needs rest. It appears it is almost an impossible feat for an autistic child. In order to find the rest that they require so desperately we should probably allow our children to enter their own worlds from time to time.
An autistic brain is astonishing in its abilities. Understanding in how to teach, parent and work with those diagnosed to be on the spectrum, high or low will ensure better techniques and awareness.
For more information about behavior and psychological aspect of autism, please visit http://blog.hear-our-voices.org/category/psychology/