Autism is a pervasive development disorder, which is a neurological disorder that affects language, communication, social and cognitive skills. Autism research indicates that autism may be a disorder of the cortex area of the brain which controls reasoning, problem-solving, memory, voluntary movement and sensation. Research results include the following findings:
• Brain growth: The brain of some children with autism grows larger and develops faster than children experiencing normal brain development at around 12 months. The accelerated growth during this developmental period can negatively affect language and cognitive skills.
• Brain structure: The sizes of certain areas of the brain, such as the corpus callosum and amygdale, are different in people with autism than in unaffected people. The corpus callosum has smaller middle and back lobes and the amygdale is larger than the same brain areas in people with typical brain development. People with autism may have multiple brain structure differences.
• Brain function: The autistic brain functions differently than an average brain. The structural differences in the brain, such as minicolumns with numerous small brain cells, cause a person with autism to think, perceive and react to things differently than a person with typical brain development.
Reference: Y. Paulignan, M. Jeannerod, “Prehension Movements - The Visuomotor Channels Hypothesis Revisited”, Hand and Brain, Issue: 13, pp. 265-282, 1996.