Basic Information


Autism and Related Pervasive Developmental Disorders

A Neurological Illness Characterized by Social, Communication and Behavioral Deficits

Autism is a neurological disorder (a "brain" disease) characterized by the presence of severe communication, language and social deficits in affected persons. It is the most well known of several pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) diagnoses which begin in early childhood and continue throughout life, affecting most every aspect of life along the way. While autistic peoples' cognitive (thinking and language) and social skills are typically developmentally delayed compared to their peers, their motor (movement) skills develop in a more normal fashion.

Specific social interaction, communication and behavioral deficits must be present before the diagnosis of autism is appropriate. Though all people with Austim people show the same specific pattern of impairments, the severity of these impairments vary from case to case, with some people demonstrating relatively mild impairments and others demonstrating severe impairments.

From a very early age, children with autism demonstrate a fundamental difficulty in properly orienting towards other people and in processing social and non-verbal forms of communication, such as eye contact and facial expression. For instance, a typical infant is generally responsive to adult caregiver facial expressions...

Latest News
U.S. Autism Estimates Rise by 30 Percent for Kids
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Autism, ADHD Tied to Gender Concerns in Some Kids: Study
Gene Study Offers Clues to Why Autism Strikes More Males
Autism Costs Average $17,000 Yearly for Each Child, Study Finds
Infants' Response to Talking Faces May Be Clue to Autism
New Diagnosis Rules Could Lead to Drop in Autism Numbers
Alternative Therapies Widely Used for Autism
Occupational Therapy Aids Kids With Autism, Sensory Issues
Revised Checklist Improves Detection of Autism in Toddlers
Sensory Therapy Might Work for Kids With Autism
'Mixing' of Senses More Common in Autism: Study
People With Autism May Recognize Faces in Different Way: Study
Bedroom TV, Video Games Linked to Less Sleep in Boys With Autism
Autism Sign May Appear in First Months of Life
Autism, Language Problems May Be Linked in Families: Study
Many Kids With Autism on Multiple Medications, Study Finds
Psychotropic Drugs Commonly Prescribed to Children With ASD
Missing Genes May Be Tied to Development of Autism: Study
What Is 'Play' to a Child With Autism?
More Links Seen Between Autism, ADHD
Children With Autism Favor Play With Sensory Component
Determining Child's Risk When Older Sibling Has Autism
Kids With Autism Benefit From Early Intervention, Regardless of Method
Video Game 'Addiction' More Likely With Autism, ADHD
Brain Wired Differently in Those With Autism: Study
Mother's Immune System Might Play Role in Certain Cases of Autism
Struggles With Motor Skills Compound Social Problems in Autism
Lower Bacteria Levels in Gut May Be Tied to Autism in Kids
'Hyperconnectivity' Seen in Brains of Children With Autism
Gluten Allergy May Play Role in Gastro Woes in Kids With Autism
Kids With Autism May Find Human Voice Unpleasant
Minority Kids With Autism Less Likely to Use Specialty Services: Study
Autism, ADHD Often Occur Together, Research Shows
Word Tests at Age 2 Might Predict Gains for Kids With Autism, Study Finds
Environmental Enrichment Reduces Autism Symptoms
Kids With Autism May Perceive Movement More Quickly
Girls With Autism May Need Different Treatments Than Boys
Newborn's Placenta May Predict Autism Risk, Study Suggests
Guideline Changes Have Asperger's Community on Edge
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Related Topics

Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses

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