Mental health can be described as the degree of psychological comfort, or nonexistence of psychological disorder. Mental health includes emotional, social and psychological well-being. Health conditions which result into changes in an individual’s behavior and thinking capability are what defines mental illness. It affects a person feeling, thinking, behavior, and interaction with other people. Even though autism spectrum disorder is a not a mental illness, children with this condition are highly vulnerable to develop mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression, paranoid personality disorder attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or depression. Autism as a neurodevelopmental disability has its origins in initial brain developmental stages (Autism-Speaks-Canada, 2017). Conversely, the most apparent symptoms have a tendency of emerging at between 12 and 18 months of infant development. There are cases where toddlers grow normally in the first year of their development until the second year when they begin to lose skills and develop autism. The typical forms of Autism are Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Brain damage can be described as the degeneration or destruction of the brain cells. Injury to the brain could be occasioned by accidents or birth defects. Damage to the cerebellum part of the brain in the womb or during the early stages of childhood has a significant impact on the occurrence of autism spectrum disorders in later stages of life. There is a directly proportional relationship between brain damage and autism. Therefore, it can be concluded that autism is a form of damage to the brain cells.
Keywords: Autism, Mental Health, Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified

Autism-Is it a kind of brain damage in children?
Introduction
Mental health can be described as the degree of psychological comfort, or nonexistence of psychological disorder. Mental health includes emotional, social and psychological well-being. It affects how we reason, feel, and act. It governs how we accommodate stress, associate with others,    and make choices. Mental health is important as it enables us to realize our full potential, handle the stresses of life, work industriously, and make significant contributions to the societies at every stage of life (WHO, 2009). Health conditions which result into changes in an individual’s behavior and thinking capability are what defines mental illness. It affects a person feeling, thinking, behavior, and interaction with other people. Examples of mental illness include kleptomania, paraphilia, neurosis, delirium, psychogenic amnesia, paranoid personality disorder, somatic symptoms disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorder (Vigo, et al., 2016). Even though autism spectrum disorder is a not a mental illness, children with this condition are highly vulnerable to develop mental disorders such as anxiety disorders, depression, paranoid personality disorder attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or depression. This paper seeks to address autism spectrum disorder, it various types so as to ascertain whether it’s a kind of brain damage in children.
Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disability which interferes with an individual’s social skills, speech, nonverbal communication, repetitive behavior and experience with the world around them (Zander, 2007). According to Autism-Speaks-Canada (2017), autism is currently the and most regularly diagnosed and fastest growing neurological disorder in Canada. The prevalence has tremendously increased by 100% in the past 10 years. 1 in 68 children are presently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and it occurs all racial, ethnic and socio-economic groups. Zander, (2004), in his publication, titled, “Introduction to autism”, discussed that autism is a disorder which presents itself in various forms. First, it presents itself as a communication disorder. About 50% of children with this condition never develop speech at all. They experience prolong delay or total impairment in language development which they fail to compensate with nonverbal communication. Secondly, it presents itself as social interaction disorder. Nearly all children suffering from autism do not exhibit any social and emotional reciprocity with their parents or any other person in their social cycle. They don’t understand emotive signs such eye contacts, intonations, gestures and even body movements. Thirdly, as a behavioral disorder. Children suffering from autism, exhibit restricted assortment of behaviour in a repetitive and stereotypic manner. For instance, they may concentrate on pushing toy car, which they do repetitively. Any attempt to deter them from such activities is always met with rage and anger. Finally, such individuals suffering from this disorder exhibit large variations from others. A person may have severe autism as a constituent in multiple impairments composed of a mild or extreme learning disability, and epilepsy, and become exceedingly disabled, or have a less significant degree of autism and a high level of ability. The variations in the degree of severity of the behavioral expressions for autism are huge and also reliant on the person’s personality, age and level of development (Zander, 2007)
Autism as a neurodevelopmental disability has its origins in initial brain developmental stages (Autism-Speaks-Canada, 2017). Conversely, the most apparent symptoms have a tendency of emerging at between 12 and 18 months of infant development. There are cases where toddlers grow normally in the first year of their development until the second year when they begin to lose skills and develop autism. The typical forms of Autism are Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
Types of Autism
1.      Asperger syndrome
Asperger’s Syndrome is not a disease or a health problem, but it is lifelong state categorized by significant impairment in nonverbal communication, social interactions and repetitive behavior (Segar, 2007). Asperger syndrome disorder is named after Hans Asperger, a Viennese pediatrician who, first defined a set of behavior patterns ostensibly in some of his patient in 1944, majorly boys. Asperger observed that even though these boys had standard intelligence and linguistic development, they had brutally compromised social skills, poor coordination and couldn't converse well with others. Scholars and mental health specialists are still examining the actual causes of Asperger syndrome. However, brain deformities are believed to be one possible cause of Asperger syndrome, since structural and functional differences have been seen in damaged brains through radical brain imaging (Segar, 2007).
The good news is that this syndrome cannot prevent one from becoming successful and fruitful in the society. Most victims of Asperger’s Syndrome display punctuality, trustworthy and responsibility, and commitment to duty with special skills in their areas of specialization. They also have a good memory and keen concentration in tasks that others may look at as being boring (Segar, 2007). Nonetheless, they have very humble social, communication, and emotional skills. They have little empathy compounded with poor relationships with others (Segar, 2007). Their conversation is mostly one-sided with an intense absorption interest. Their movements can also be impaired in some cases. They are rigid thinkers with difficulty to master easy concepts. Because Asperger syndrome varies widely from person to person, making a diagnosis can be difficult. It is often detected later in infants than autism and sometimes may not be recognized until adulthood (Segar, 2007). Diagnosis is important because it helps victims to comprehend why they may face certain complications and what they can do about them. It also enables them to access necessary services and support. Diagnosis can be done by the multi-disciplinary investigative team, comprising a psychologist, speech and dialectal counselor, pediatrician, and psychiatrist (Segar, 2007). Some of the proposed solutions to this condition are parental teaching, specified learning mediations, social abilities training, language psychotherapy, and sensory assimilation training (Caulfield, 2011).
2.      Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified
Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, abbreviated as PDD-NOS, was one of the several subtypes of autism that was folded into Autism Spectrum Disorder (Rondeau et al., 2010).  The cause of Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, is not clearly known though scientists believe that hereditary factors could play a role. The early symptoms of PDD-NOS that can be identified at infancy comprise delays in the development of communication and socialization skills. These may comprise delays in using language, difficulty associating to people, unfamiliar play with toys, and difficulty with variations in routine. Pervasive Development Disorder involves-Not Otherwise Specified is characterized by interruptions in the development of elementary childhood skills such as the ability to communicate, the ability to socialize, and clearly put into use the power of imagination. Children on with this condition have difficulties with social communication and interactions (Rondeau et al., 2010). They also tend to avoid eye contact, inept to precisely express themselves linguistically, have a penetrating or flat voice, cannot contain a conversation, exhibit distress adjusting emotions, and perform repetitive behaviors like hand-flapping, shaking, jumping. They also display confusion, in their way of thinking and, have an acute difficulty in understanding the environment around them, but are too social enough to be considered autistic. In diagnosis, clinicians examine the child and make inquiries from the parents about the child’s actions (Rondeau et al., 2010). There is no proven laboratory examination for Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. The best mitigation is to establish early enough if a child is in the range of infection. Early detection is significant in the acquisition of resources to help the child reach full potential. Even though there are medications to help children displaying Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified symptoms, medication is more effective when combined with therapy that improves socialization and other life skills. Common therapies such as visual and environmental support are significant (Rondeau et al., 2010).
3.      Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD) is a developmental disorder, also known as dementia infantilis, Heller's syndrome, and disintegrative psychosis. Children suffering from this condition show normal social and linguistic development in the first two years of normal development, which is then followed by loss of, social skills, motor skills, and language. Childhood disintegrative disorder was first described by Thomas Heller, an Austrian educator in the year 1908.  The cause of childhood disintegrative disorder is indefinite. However, research outcomes propose, that it may be triggered in the neurobiology of the brain. Most of the children diagnosed with this condition have an abnormal electroencephalogram. Electroencephalogram determines the electrical activity in the brain generated by nerve transmission. CDD is also linked with seizures, another symptom that the neurobiology of the brain may be entangled. CDD is sporadically related to such diagnosed medical disorders of the brain as Schilder's disease and leukodystrophy however, research on this condition is hindered by the infrequency of this disorder (Charan, 2012).
At the initial stages of their lives, children with this unusual disorder begin their physical and mental development in a normal pattern. However, at approximately between 2 and 10 years of age, they begin to lose many of the skills they had established.  Additionally, to the loss of social as well as communication skills, is more often than not compounded by subsequent impairment of other functions, such impaired bowel and bladder control system. To be diagnosed with CDD, a child must show loss in at least two of the following areas, expressive language skills, receptive language skills, social skills, play with peers, motor skills, and bowel or bladder control. Treatment emphasize is on timely and passionate educational interventions. Most treatment is and extremely structured. Enlightening the parents so that they can support the child’s treatments at home is usually part of the overall treatment plan. Social skills development, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and sensory integration therapy may all be used. Other proposed treatment measures disorder include environmental therapy, behavioral therapy and medication with antipsychotic drugs (Charan, 2012).
4.      Rett's syndrome
This is a hereditary neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the way the brain grows, triggering a progressive incapability to use muscles of an eye, body movements, and speech. Most infants with Rett syndrome appear to develop normally at first, but after approximately 6 months of growth, they lose abilities they had learned until that time such as, walk, communicate or the ability to crawl. Infants with this condition have difficulties with the use of muscles that regulate movement, communication, and coordination. It can also cause seizures and logical incapacity (Bathla et al., 2010).
Rett’s syndrome is associated with the gray matter of the brain. This disorder has been interrelated to a defect on the X chromosome, meaning it is virtually a condition which affects female. Children with this very unusual syndrome display the signs linked to Pervasive Development Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. Additionally, they suffer problems with physical development. They have poorly developed skills such as walking and use of their hands. Victims of Rett’s syndrome are characterized by gastrointestinal complications and approximately 80% of them experience seizures. Common symptoms of Retts syndrome include (Bathla et al., 2010).
·         Slowed growth. Microcephaly is the first sign that a child has Rett’s syndrome. Hindered growth in other parts of the body gets obvious as the child grows.
·         Loss of normal movement and coordination. Muscles become weak with abnormal movement.
·         Loss of communication abilities. Loss of the ability to speak, to make eye contact and to communicate.
·         Abnormal hand movements. Children with Rett syndrome typically purposeless hand movements that may differ for each person.
·         Infants with this condition, have a characteristic unusual eye movements, such as intense blinking, and staring.
·         Children with Rett syndrome become increasingly agitated and irritable as they get older.
·          Loss of skills can be accompanied by a loss of intellectual functioning.
·          Most people who have Rett syndrome experience seizures at some time during their lives.
·         Scoliosis is common with Rett syndrome. It typically begins between 8 and 11 years of age and increases with age. Surgery may be required if the curvature is severe.
·         Irregular heartbeat which can result in sudden death.
·         Health problems may have an increased risk of pain.
Currently there is no known cure for Rett’s Syndrome, however, sufficient therapies in speech, occupational, good nutrition, behavioral, supportive services are significant in rehabilitating this condition (Bathla et al., 2010).
5.      Autistic disorder
Autistic disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that appears in the first three years of a child growth. A child with autism disorder displays slight concern in others and lack of societal consciousness. The cause of autism is not well-known. Scientists propose that it is a hereditary condition (Owen, et al., 2009). Researchers in autism have established a variation of irregularities in the brain structure and chemicals components, nonetheless, there have been no reliable outcomes. Victims of this condition don’t interact well with others,  tend to evade making eye contact, fails to develop friends or interact with other children, do not communicate well with others, demonstrates repetitive behaviors and are preoccupied with lights, moving objects. Specified behavioral and educational courses are planned to treat autism. Behavioral therapy is used to teach social skills, motor skills and cognitive skills (Owen et al., 2009). Distinctive education series that are extremely structured focus on increasing social skills, speech, language, and self-care and job skills. Medication is similarly supportive in treating some indications of autism in some kids (Owen et al., 2009).
Conclusion

Brain damage can be described as the destruction of the brain cells. Injury to the brain could be occasioned by accidents or birth defects. According to a study done by (Wang et al., 2014) damage to the cerebellum part of the brain in the womb or during the early stages of childhood, has a significant impact on the occurrence of autism later stages of life. Therefore, it can be concluded that autism is a form of damage to the brain cells. There is need for more studies on causes symptom and treatments for the typical forms of Autism are Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified. 


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