Autism; A Mental Disorder

Know about autism, its causes, symptoms and treatments

Tina S
Tina S
Mar 24, 2010
3 Comments | 3553 Views | 0 Hits


Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder which affects social and communication skills and, to a greater or lesser degree, motor and language skills. 

Autism is a severe developmental disorder that begins at birth or within the first two-and-a-half years of life. Most autistic children are perfectly normal in appearance, but spend their time engaged in puzzling and disturbing behaviors which are markedly different from those of typical children. Between two and 13 out of every 10,000 children born are diagnosed with autistic disorder. Autistic disorder is more prevalent in boys than girls.

Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.

The two other autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are Asperger syndrome, which lacks delays in cognitive development and language, and PDD-NOS, diagnosed when full criteria for the other two disorders are not met.

The disorder is characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills and social abilities, and also by repetitive behaviors. Symptoms range from mild to severe. One milder form of the disorder is known as Asperger's Syndrome. Other developmental disorders that fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorders are Rett Syndrome, PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified), and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. 


The cause of autistic disorder is not known. Research indicates autistic disorder is a genetic disorder. It is believed that several genes are involved in the development of autistic disorder. Research studies in autistic disorder have found a variety of abnormalities in the brain structure and chemicals in the brain, however, there have been no consistent findings. One theory is the possibility that autistic disorder is a behavioral syndrome that includes several distinct conditions. However, parenting behaviours are not the cause or a contributing factor to the cause or causes of autistic disorder.

How many people are affected?

There is no central register of everyone who has autism, which means that any information about the possible number of people with autism in the community must be based on epidemiological surveys, but the latest is that 1 in every 150 children and 1 in every 83 boys has autism. 


A child with autism looks just like any other child, but has distinctive behavior patterns. A child who is autistic may enjoy rocking or spinning either himself or other objects, and may be happy to repeat the same activity for a long period of time. At other times, the child may move very quickly from one activity to another, and may appear to be hyperactive.

A child with autism may be perfectly happy one moment, but all of a sudden become sad or angry, or even have a tantrum. This may be because they can't tell people what they want. Many autistic children have sensitivity to certain sounds or touch, and at other times, may appear not to hear anything at all.Taking the wrong turning or a certain noise could trigger this reaction, or simply parking the car on the wrong side of the road. 

A child with high functioning autism may have a normal or high I.Q., be able to attend a regular school and hold a job later in life.Some autistic children do not ever develop speech, while others may develop speech but still have difficulty using language to communicate. Often, there is an unusual speech pattern, such as echoing whatever is said to them, repeating a word over and over, reversing "you" and "I" when asking for something, and speaking only to express needs, rather than emotions.

Autistic children may be able to do some things, like sing songs or recite rhymes very well, but may not be able to do things requiring social skills very well.

Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child or their child's failure to reach appropriate developmental milestones. Some parents describe a child that seemed different from birth, while others describe a child who was developing normally and then lost skills. If you have concerns about your child's development, don't wait: speak to your pediatrician about getting your child screened for autism.


Appropriate early intervention is important. Once the diagnosis has been made, the parents, physicians, and specialists should discuss what is best for the child. In most cases, parents are encouraged to take care of the child at home.

Special education classes are available for autistic children. Structured, behaviorally-based programs, geared to the patient's developmental level have shown some promise.

Autism is a lifelong disorder that ranges in severity from mild cases in which the autistic person can live independently, to severe forms in which the patient requires social support and medical supervision throughout his or her life.


Keywords: autism,mental,disorder,spectrum,behavior,pervasive,development,genetic, autistic,hyperactive,tantrum,treatment, pediatrician, syndrome,Asperger syndrome.

Comments on this article

Zakir, Hossain ,, Photos, Picture, Album

Zakir Hossain : Autism is not perverse and not developmental, many great people did great in their life even after having autism. It's a disorder of neurons in the beginning of the development. Specially, children with autism often shows certain mathematical or analytical abilities in permutation, combination etc. A little reference, from "Autism spectrum disorders are characterised by severe deficits in socialisation, communication, and repetitive or unusual behaviours. Increases over time in the frequency of these disorders (to present rates of about 60 cases per 10,000 children) might be attributable to factors such as new administrative classifications, policy and practice changes, and increased awareness. Surveillance and screening strategies for early identification could enable early treatment and improved outcomes. Autism spectrum disorders are highly genetic and multifactorial, with many risk factors acting together. Genes that affect synaptic maturation are implicated, resulting in neurobiological theories focusing on connectivity and neural effects of gene expression. Several treatments might address core and comorbid symptoms. However, not all treatments have been adequately studied. Improved strategies for early identification with phenotypic characteristics and biological markers (eg, electrophysiological changes) might hopefully improve effectiveness of treatment. Further knowledge about early identification, neurobiology of autism, effective treatments, and the effect of this disorder on families is needed."

Apr 2, 2010 at 05:00 AM, Friday  

Tina, S ,, Photos, Picture, Album

Tina S : Here "pervasive developmental disorder" is used to state that this disorder can be improved by special care.

Apr 22, 2010 at 06:25 AM, Thursday  

Tina, S ,, Photos, Picture, Album

Tina S : Here "pervasive developmental disorder" is used to state that this disorder can be improved by special care.

Apr 22, 2010 at 06:25 AM, Thursday  

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