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

  • Sex role
    Sex role is the gender-specific role behaviour that a person learns as a member of a particular ...
  • Pancreatic Ducts
    The main duct of the pancreas begins in the tail and runs the length of the gland, receiving ...
  • Place theory of hearing
    Place theory of hearing, which the theory that different areas of the basilar membrane ...
  • Declarative knowledge
    Declarative knowledge means factual knowledge. A conscious 'knowing that' something is ...
  • Neurasthenia
    Neurasthenia is a neurotic state of extreme tiredness, weakness and general debility, ...