Autism Spectrum Disorders: DefinitionsAutism is a pervasive developmental disorder which affects social and communication skills and, to a greater or lesser degree, motor and language skills. It is such a broad diagnosis that it can include people with high IQs and mental retardation -- and people with autism can be chatty or silent, affectionate or cold, methodical or disorganized. So, what exactly is an autism spectrum disorder? These articles are a good place to get the basics:
Who is at Greatest Risk of Autism?As the media pick up more and more stories about autism, parents are becoming increasingly concerned about their young children. Might their idiosyncracies be signs of autism? Autism is now diagnosed in 1 out of 150 American children, and some people believe the numbers may be under-reported.
Who is at greatest risk? The bottom line is that boys are at much higher risk than girls, and that boys from families in which at least one other person is autistic are at higher risk of autism. If one identical twin is autistic, his twin is extremely likely to also be autistic (though the autism may present quite differently).
- What Are Some of the Risk Factors for Autism?
- Will Our Next Child Be Autistic?
- Is Autism Genetic?
- Do Vaccines Cause Autism?