Definition: Autism is a general term for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours. In recent times all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by social-interaction difficulties, communication challenges and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors. However, symptoms and their severity vary widely across these three core areas. Taken together, they may result in relatively mild challenges for someone on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum.
Symptoms and Treatment: Each child or adult with autism is unique so, each autism intervention plan should be tailored to address specific needs. Intervention can involve behavioral treatments, medicines or both. Many persons with autism have additional medical conditions such as sleep disturbance, seizures and gastrointestinal (GI) distress. Addressing these conditions can improve attention, learning and related behaviors. Presently, we don’t have a medical test that can diagnose autism. Instead, specially trained physicians and psychologists administer autism-specific behavioral evaluations. Often parents are the first to notice that their child is showing unusual behaviors such as failing to make eye contact, not responding to his or her name or playing with toys in unusual, repetitive ways.
Statistics: In United States statistics of Autism were resulted as about one in every 68 children in the United States has ASD. It is about four times more common in boys than girls. It can affect children of all races and social classes wherever they live. Researchers are not sure what causes ASD. In general, the neurophysiologic study of auditory processing in autism does suggest atypical neural activity as early in the processing stream as the primary auditory cortex. However, as Whitehouse and Bishop suggest, these difference may be a result of top-down inhibitory processes mediating encoding and early sound processing.