What Is Autism - What Is Autism? Autism is a brain disorder...

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What Is Autism? Autism is a brain disorder that too often results in a lifetime of impaired thinking, feeling, and social functioning -- our most uniquely human attributes. It typically affects a person's ability to communicate, form relationships with others, and respond appropriately to the external world. The disorder becomes apparent in children generally by the age of 3. Autism (sometimes called "classical autism") is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders . Experts estimate that three to six children out of every 1,000 will have autism. Males are four times more likely to have it than females. Girls with autism tend to have more severe symptoms and greater cognitive impairment. Characteristic Behaviors of Autism Autism is characterized by three distinctive behaviors. Autistic children : Have difficulties with social interaction Display problems with verbal and nonverbal communication Exhibit repetitive behaviors or narrow, obsessive interests. Some people with the condition can function at a relatively high level, with speech and intelligence intact. Others have serious cognitive impairments and language delays, and some never speak. In addition, individuals with autism may seem closed off and shut down, or locked into repetitive behaviors and rigid patterns of thinking. An infant may avoid eye contact, seem deaf, and abruptly stop developing language. The child may act as if unaware of the coming and going of others, or physically attack and injure others without provocation. Infants with autism often remain fixated on a single item or activity, rock or flap their hands, seem insensitive to burns and bruises, and may even mutilate themselves. What Causes It? Scientists aren't certain what causes autism, but it's likely that both genetics and environment play a role. Treatment for Autism
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There is no cure for the disorder. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that target the core symptoms of the condition: Impaired social interaction Problems with verbal and nonverbal communication Obsessive or repetitive routines and interests. Most professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better. What Is the Prognosis? For many children, symptoms improve with treatment and with age. Some children with autism grow up to lead normal or near-normal lives. Children whose language skills regress early in life, usually before the age of 3, appear to be at risk of developing epilepsy or seizure -like brain activity. During adolescence, some children with autism may become depressed or experience behavioral problems. Parents of these children should be ready to adjust treatment for their child as needed.
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What Is Autism - What Is Autism? Autism is a brain disorder...

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