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What is Autism?

By Edited Jan 28, 2016 0 0

It is a question that has crossed the minds of more than one new parent. What is autism? And more importantly how can we determine whether or not our child is afflicted by it?

Autism is defined as a neurobiological disorder that lasts for the duration of a person's life. More specifically, it is a developmental disorder that affects a person's communication, social, motor and language skills.

This last definition is of course quite broad, and as such can encompass people with advanced mental capability as well as those with some form of mental retardation.

Furthermore, you can take a selection of autistic people and they will probably exhibit a broad range of contradictory and extreme behavior. They could either be extremely methodical or extremely haphazard and disorganized in their habits.

They can be very talkative or very withdrawn and taciturn. Also, contrary to what many depictions in the media would have us believe, autistic people can be quite affectionate and demonstrative.

Of course they can also be quite cold and aloof, even to close members of their own family.

Because of these contradictions and in spite of the widespread coverage of the condition in the media, the answer to the question "what is autism?" is one that still eludes many people.

The only way that you can determine for sure whether the behavioral signs that your child is exhibiting is indeed autism is by thorough and extended observation by a doctor. You should be aware though that there have been instances wherein an otherwise qualified physician has failed to detect the presence of the condition in a child.

In the U.S. alone, it has been estimated that 1 out of 150 children may be afflicted with this condition and many feel that this figure way below the actual mark.

Taking the rest of the world into consideration, the figure of autism cases has even been placed at as high as 1 out of every thousand children worldwide. With such a high occurrence of the condition, it only makes sense to become acquainted with its more common symptoms and at least gain a cursory knowledge of what is autism.

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