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
Autism Tied to Higher Risk for Gut Troubles in Children
Scientists Spot Gene Tied to Severe Autism in Girls
IVF Kids May Have Higher Odds of Autism, Study Finds
'Play' May Be More Stressful for Kids With Autism: Study
Program for 1-Year-Olds Tries to Lessen Autism's Impact
Some Kids With Autism Show Improvement by Age 6: Study
Autism Genes Vary, Even in Affected Siblings, Study Finds
Study Hints That 'Video Feedback' Therapy May Help Curb Autism
Those With Autism May Have Unique Brain Connections, Study Shows
Autism Signs May Be Missed in Short Checkups
Can Pets Help Boost Social Skills for Kids With Autism?
Different Gene Mutations May Determine Severity, Type of Autism
Smog Exposure During Pregnancy Linked to Autism Risk
Brain Inflammation a Hallmark of Autism, Study Shows
Holidays Can Be Sensory Overload for Kids With Autism
Minority Kids May Be Missed in Autism Diagnoses: Study
Discovery of 100-Plus Genes Tied to Autism May Improve Treatments
More Clues to Spotting Autism in Siblings of Those With Disorder
Could Air Pollutants Raise a Child's Autism Risk?
Broccoli Compound Shows Promise for Autism Symptoms in Small Study
Kids With Autism Tend to Be Less Active, Study Says
Spacing Between Sibling Births Tied to Autism Risk in Study
Boys With Autism Show Certain Grammar Skills in Study
Brainwaves May Help Gauge Autism Severity: Study
Could Low Iron Intake During Pregnancy Raise Autism Risk?
Estrogen Receptor May Play a Role in Autism
Spotting, Treating Autism Symptoms in Infancy May Prevent Delays
Kids With Autism Have Extra Brain Connections, Study Says
Different Areas of Brain Affected in Autism, Sensory Disorders
Less Flexibility Seen in Brain Wiring of Kids With Autism: Study
iPads May Help Boost Speaking Skills in Kids With Autism: Study
Adults With Asperger Syndrome May Have Higher Suicide Risk
Autism's Costs Can Run Into Millions for One Person
Genetic 'Networks' May Play Role in Autism
Study Probes Why Kids With Autism Are Oversensitive to Touch, Noise
Health Tip: Dealing With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
Key Brain 'Networks' May Differ in Autism, Study Suggests
Family Dog Can Help Kids With Autism
Guideline Changes Have Asperger's Community on Edge
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Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses

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