Autism is one of a group of neurodevelopmental disorders known as pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs).These are characterized by troubles with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.Parents usually notice signs in the first 2 or 3 years of their child’s life. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier.These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then worsen.Autism is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.Risk factors include certain infections during pregnancy such as rubella.
*Symptoms of Autism:
- Poor eye contact
- Flapping hands or repetitive gestures
- Repeating phrases or babble
- Heightened sensitivity or sensory aversion
- Inspecting toys rather than playing with them
- Playing alone
- A lack of interest in pretend play
- Obsessive interests
- Unresponsive to his or her name
- Loss of language or social skills
- Hyperactivity (very active)
- Impulsivity (acting without thinking)
- Causing self injury
- Unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel.