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Introduction

History of Autism

What is Autism?

Definitions of autism

What are the symptoms?

How do you know my child is autistic?

What causes autism?

Is there a cure for autism?

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What are the symptoms?
The following areas are among those which may be affected by autism:

Communication.
Language develops slowly or not at all; use of words without attaching the usual meaning to them; gestures used instead of words; short attention span.

Social interaction.
The person with autism may spend time alone rather than with others; show little interest in making friends; less responsive to social cues such as eye contact or smiles.

Sensory impairment.
Unusual reactions to physical sensations such as being overly sensitive to touch or under responsive to pain; sight, hearing, touch, pain, smell, taste may be affected to a lesser or greater degree.

Play.
Lack of spontaneous or imaginative play; does not imitate other's actions; does not initiate pretend games.

Behaviors.
May be overactive or very passive; throw frequent tantrums for no apparent reason; may persevere on one single item, idea or person; apparent lack of common sense; may show aggressive or violent behavior or injure self.

Infantile Autism Diagnosis.
Accurate diagnosis of autism may be difficult because the characteristics of this disorder may resemble those of mental retardation, severe reactive disturbances, or deafness. The following checklist of 14 behavioral signs and symptoms can aid the physician in reaching his diagnosis. Although no single item is significant alone, if a child exhibits 7 or more of these traits, a diagnosis of autism should be seriously considered.

Although normal children - or abnormal children who are not autistic - may behave in any of these ways, autistic children exhibit seven or more of these traits, and their abnormal behavior is constant and inappropriate for their age. This checklist is only one diagnostic tool for use when considering a possible cause of autism. The patient should also be given thorough medical, developmental and intelligence tests. The taking of a social history is also vital to provide the full information needed for a conclusive diagnosis.

  1. Difficulty in mixing with other childrenv
  2. Acts as deaf
  3. Resists learning
  4. No fear of real dangers
  5. Resists change in routine
  6. Indicates needs by gesture
  7. Inappropriate laughing and giggling
  8. Not cuddly
  9. Marked physical overactivity
  10. No eye contact
  11. Inappropriate attachments to objects
  12. Spins objects
  13. Sustained odd play
  14. Standoffish manner

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