What is Autism?

Autism is a complex neuro-behavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Symptoms can range from mild to severe and often change over time. 

Diagnosis and Risk Factors

Early diagnosis and treatment are important to reducing the symptoms of autism and improving the quality of life for people with autism and their families. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have identified possible red flags for autism spectrum disorder in young children, including: Not responding to his/her name by 12 months of age, Not pointing at objects to show interest by 14 months, Not playing"pretend" games by 18 months, Avoiding eye contact or preferring to be alone, Getting upset by minor changes, flapping their hands, rocking their body or spinning in circles, having unusual and sometimes intense reactions to the way things smell, taste, feel and/or look.

Causal Factors

Fundamental disturbance of the central nervous system. Inborn defect which impairs infant’s perceptual cognitive functioning. Deficits in the functioning of amygdale, which coordinates the actions of autonomic nervous system and endocrine system. Abnormality in brain anatomy. Defective genes or damage from radiation or other conditions during prenatal development.