Definition

Autism

Autism, a severe developmental disability that impairs children’s ability to communicate and relate to others, is another childhood disorder that usually appears in the first three years and typically continues throughout life. Children with autism have difficulties in both verbal and nonverbal communication, and they may avoid social contact. About one in 150 children are now thought to have the disorder.


Autism is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) that affects a person’s ability to communicate, form normal social relationships and respond appropriately to the external world. Autism typically appears in the first three years of life, although there may be signs in infancy such as avoiding eye contact and abruptly stopping language development. Children with autism may stare into space for hours, throw uncontrollable tantrums and show no interest in people including their parents. They may pursue strange, repetitive activities with no apparent purpose. Some people with autism can function at a relatively high level, with speech and intelligence intact. Others, however, have serious learning problems and language delays, and some never speak.

References
Share it:  Cite

More from this Section

  • Negative reinforcement
    Negative reinforcement used in conditioning as a way of eliminating a given response by ...
  • Analogies test
    Analogies test is a widely used type of mental test which asks the subject to complete ...
  • Flight into illness
    Flight into illness used in clinical psychology to describe someone who develops symptoms ...
  • Intelligence
    Intelligence is the capacity to understand the world, think rationally, and use resources ...
  • Rods
    ...