Definition of Autism
Autism is a condition that affects development of the brain. Autism severely affects a person’s social, mental, emotional, and communications skills.
What is going on in the body?
Autism is the most severe form of a spectrum of pervasive developmental disorders, which affect a person’s ability to interact with others. The hallmark signs of autism are extreme difficulty in responding to social interactions and communicating with others.
Autism is most often noticed before the age of 3. It occurs four times more often in boys than in girls. It seems to appear equally among all parts of society.
Although estimates of the frequency of autism in the population vary depending on how strict a definition is used, autism has clearly been increasing and may now affect as many as 3 to 6 per 1,000 children.
Some people who have autism may also have other disorders that affect the brain. These include:
- Down syndrome
- fragile X syndrome
- Turner syndrome