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What Is Autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by impaired social and communicational skills. Due to a wide range of symptoms associated with autism and an unexplained cause, this disorder is considered highly controversial.

Autism is usually recognized in early childhood, most frequently during the first three years of life. The cause of autism is unknown but it is linked to abnormal brain chemistry. Genetic factor seems to play a role in development of autism as well as chromosomal abnormalities. It is also believed that vaccine sensitivity may lead to autism.

Diagnosis of autism is based on observed behavior and different testing. This developmental disorder is rarely evident in the outward appearance of an affected child but impairment in communication, social interaction, activities and interests generally indicates autism.

Symptoms of Autism

External symptoms of autism are rarely present, although larger head circumference can be observed in some autistic children. Symptoms of autism mainly include problems related to social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, behavior and play. Symptoms of autism greatly differ between affected individuals. However, there are several core symptoms common to all autistic children. Following is the list of common symptoms of autism.

Lack of Fear

Children with autism usually have no fear of danger. For example, an autistic child may stand in the middle of a street without worrying of a car hitting him/her.

Aversion To Pretended or Imaginative PlayAutistic children typically show dislike to playing pretended games and are usually unwilling to engage in interactive games such as hide and seek, chase and others.

Indifference To Other Children Children suffering from autism generally like to spend their time alone and they prefer solitary play. An autistic child is usually withdrawn and is not interested in getting introduced to other children.

Behavioral Outbursts

Autistic children may throw intense temper tantrums over insignificant things. They may also exhibit violent behavior and often be uncooperative.

Poor Non-Verbal CommunicationAutistic children usually do not make eye contact and do not return smiles when smiled at. It is also characteristic for children with autism that they do not respond to their own name. They often do not point or wave goodbye and do not use other gestures to communicate.

Other Symptoms of AutismApart from these symptoms, autism is also marked by:Repetitive body movementsClamping hands on earsSticking to a routineLack of empathyWalking on toesOdd movement patternsUnusual attachments to objects Slow development of languageUneven motor skillsSelfish behaviorAutomatic repetition of words or phrases

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