It is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life and affects normal brain development of social and communication skills.
Autism is a physical condition linked to abnormal biology and chemistry in the brain, whose exact causes are unknown, but this is a very active research area. Probably a combination of factors that lead toautism.
Genetic factors appear to be important. For example, it is more likely that identical twins both have autism compared with fraternal twins (twins) or siblings. Similarly, language abnormalities are more common in relatives of autistic children and also chromosomal abnormalities and other problems of the nervous system (neurological) problems are more common in families with autism.
Ithas been suspected of many other possible causes, but not proven. They involve:
Changes in the digestive tract
Body's inability to properly use vitamins and minerals
Sensitivity to vaccines
AUTISM AND VACCINES
Many parents are concerned that some vaccines are not safe and can hurt your baby or toddler.They can ask the doctor or nurse to wait, or even refuse toreceive the vaccine. However, it is also important to think about the risks of not getting vaccinated.
Some people believe that the small amount of mercury (called thimerosal) is a common preservative in multidose vaccines cause autism or hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit disorder (ADHD). However, studies have shown that this risk is true.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and theInstitute of Medicine (IOM) agree that no vaccine or any vaccine component is responsible for the number of children currently being diagnosed with autism. They conclude that the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks.
All routine childhood vaccines are available in single dose forms that do not contain added mercury.
The website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention providesadditional information.
HOW MANY CHILDREN HAVE AUTISM?
The exact number of children with autism is unknown. A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States suggests that autism and related disorders are more common than previously thought, although it is unclear whether this is due to an increasing rate of the disease or an increased ability todiagnose.
Autism affects boys more often 3 or 4 times more than girls and factors such as family income, education and lifestyle do not seem to affect the risk of cancer.
Some doctors believe the increased incidence of autism is due to new definitions of the disease. The term "autism" now includes a broader spectrum of children. For example, a child who is diagnosed with high-functioning autismtoday may have been thought to simply be odd or strange 30 years ago.
Other pervasive developmental disorders include:
Asperger syndrome (like autism, but with normal language development)
Rett syndrome (very different from autism, and only occurs in women)
Childhood disintegrative disorder (rare condition where a child learns skills, then loses them by age 10 years)
Pervasive developmentaldisorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS, for its acronym in English), also called atypical autism
Most parents of autistic children suspect that something is wrong when the child is 18 months and seek help by 2 years of age. Children with autism typically have difficulties in:
Verbal and nonverbal communication
Some children with autism appearnormal before 1 or 2 years of age and then suddenly "regress" and lose language or social skills they had acquired previously. This is called the regressive type of autism.
People with autism may:
Be overly sensitive in sight, hearing, touch, smell or taste (for example, may refuse to wear "itchy" clothes and become distressed if they are forced to wear the clothes).
Have unusual distress...