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Information About Autism

Autism
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  Autism
 
Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests itself in markedly abnormal social interaction, communication ability, patterns of interests, and patterns of behavior. Although the specific etiology of autism is unknown, genetic factors appear to be important.

To diagnose the condition a list of psychiatric criteria as well as a series of standardized clinical tests may be used. Physiologically, autism may lack readily visible differences, but it is linked to abnormal biological and neurochemical development of the brain. A complete physical and neurological evaluation will typically be part of determining a diagnosis of autism. Some now speculate that autism is in fact several distinct conditions that manifest themselves in similar ways rather than a single diagnosis.

By definition, autism must manifest delays in "social interaction, language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play," with "onset prior to age 3 years." (DSM-IV) The ICD-10 also says that symptoms must "manifest before the age of three years." There have been large increases in the reported incidence of autism, for reasons that are heavily debated in the scientific community.


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