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Autism: Symptoms, Facts and Treatment Research

  • Synopsis: Last Revised/Updated: 2018-06-19 - Autism is a brain development disorder that is characterized by impaired social interaction communication and restricted repetitive behavior.


Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. The signs typically develop gradually, but some children with autism will reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress. Autism effects the fields of social skills, communication and stereotypical behaviors, which most people associated with things like rocking, flapping, lining things up, etc.

Autism is a brain development disorder that is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior, all starting before a child is three years old. This set of signs distinguishes autism from milder autism spectrum disorders (ASD) such as pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Autism falls under the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders, which includes disorders like Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and then autism is then divided up in many different subtypes including Asperger's Syndrome.

A blurred shot of a child playing the piano - Photo Credit: Clark Young on UnsplashAbout This Image: A blurred shot of a child playing the piano - Photo Credit: Clark Young on UnsplashFor reasons as yet unidentified, autism has become an epidemic in America over the last couple of decades. While considerable controversy surrounds the issue of why this condition is escalating so rapidly, the number of children diagnosed with autism has risen from one in 2,000 to one in 59 today. Other proposed causes, such as childhood vaccines, are controversial, and the vaccine hypotheses lack any convincing scientific evidence.

Autism and ADHD could present with each other or with a variety of other conditions - but they do not "typically" present together.

Some autism symptoms could appear like inattention. You should not easily confuse someone with ADHD with someone with autism as their functioning and behavior are different.

Autistic individuals display many forms of repetitive or restricted behavior, which the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised (RBS-R) categorizes as follows:

No single repetitive behavior seems to be specific to autism, but only autism appears to have an elevated pattern of occurrence and severity of these behaviors. Early behavioral or cognitive intervention can help children gain self-care, social, and communication skills. There is no currently no known cure for autism.

Children and Adults with ASD May:

Autism Statistics

The number of people diagnosed has been increasing dramatically since the 1980s, partly due to changes in diagnostic practice and government-subsidized financial incentives for named diagnoses; the question of whether actual rates have increased is unresolved.

Latest Autism Facts and Information Publications

1 : CARD Reacts to CDC Announcement of 15% Increase in Autism Rate : Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD).

2 : Autism Prevalence Increases to 1 in 59 US Children : U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

3 : Worldwide Free Online Course About Autism : Torrens University Australia.

4 : Autism's Social Deficits Reversed by Romidepsin Anti-Cancer Drug : University at Buffalo.

5 : Urine and Blood Tests Can Indicate Autism in Children : University of Warwick.

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