What is Autism?

Author Topic: What is Autism?  (Read 576 times)

Offline anirban

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What is Autism?
« on: April 26, 2012, 04:32:33 PM »

Autism is a neural developmental disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior [1]. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood [2].

Autism is a severe developmental disability that generally begins at birth or within the first three years of life. It is a neurological disorder that makes difficulties in the way of brain functionality- causing delays or problems in many different skills from infancy to adulthood. For example, both children and adults with autism usually exhibit difficulties in social interaction as well as in verbal and non-verbal communication. They also tend to be interested in odd, repetitive, or restricted activities. While the majority of autistic children look completely normal, they differ from other children by engaging in perplexing and distressing behaviors.

Autism belongs to a collection of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). A spectrum disorder is a group of disorders with similar features. While one person may have mild symptoms, another might have more severe ones. There are differences in the nature of the symptoms of different person.

The three different types of autism spectrum disorders are:

•   Autistic disorder (also known as "classic" autism): This is the most common condition among the ASDs. It causes difficulties with social interactions, delays in language and also results some unusual behaviors. Some people with autistic disorder also have impaired intellectual abilities.

•   Asperger syndrome: People with this syndrome display some of the milder symptoms of autistic disorder -- such as social challenges and unusual behaviors. They generally do not have any delays in language or impaired intellectual abilities.

•   Pervasive Developmental Disorder: They typically have milder and fewer symptoms than those with autistic disorder. Symptoms may be limited to problems with language and social interaction [3].

The discussion about autism cannot be limited in a small article. It is a vast area. Hope to continue in future with a series of articles...... :)


[1]    “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, 4th ed., text revision (DSM-IV-TR), ISBN 0-89042-025-4: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.
[2]   Levy SE, Mandell DS, Schultz RT, “Autism”, The Lancet, vol. 374(9701), pp. 1627–38, 7-13 Nov. 2009.
[3]   (Sep. 2009) The My Child without Limits website. [Online]. Available: http://www.mychildwithoutlimits.org/?page=autism&gclid=COGl4qvBhasCFYMc6wodWi_C2A
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 04:35:57 PM by anirban »
Shikha Anirban
Assistant Professor
Dept. of SWE, FSIT
Daffodil International University

Offline Saba Fatema

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Re: What is Autism?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 01:15:23 PM »
Thanks. Waiting for your next post on this topic.
Saba Fatema
Senior Lecturer
Department of GED