Autism

autisticautistic disorderautistic childrenchildhood autismAutism Spectrum DisordersAutism AwarenessAutism Spectrum Disorderautistic childautistic featuresautistic spectrum
Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.wikipedia
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Heritability of autism

Geneticgenetics of autismautism
Autism is associated with a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
The heritability of autism is the proportion of differences in expression of autism that can be explained by genetic variation; if the heritability of a condition is high, then the condition is considered to be primarily genetic.

Causes of autism

cause of autismcausesa supposed link between the two
Controversies surround other proposed environmental causes; for example, the vaccine hypothesis, which has been disproven.
Many causes of autism have been proposed, but understanding of the theory of causation of autism and the other autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is incomplete.

Controversies in autism

Medical model of autismneurodiversity paradigmautism
Controversies surround other proposed environmental causes; for example, the vaccine hypothesis, which has been disproven.
Diagnoses of autism have become more frequent since the 1980s, which has led to various controversies about both the cause of autism and the nature of the diagnoses themselves.

Autism spectrum

autism spectrum disorderautisticautism spectrum disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), combines autism and less severe forms of the condition, including Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) into the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
It includes autism and Asperger syndrome.

Regressive autism

worsening
These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism experience worsening in their communication and social skills after reaching developmental milestones at a normal pace.
Regressive autism occurs when a child appears to develop typically but then starts to lose speech and social skills, typically between the ages of 15 and 30 months, and is subsequently diagnosed with autism.

Asperger syndrome

Asperger's syndromeAspergerAsperger’s syndrome
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), combines autism and less severe forms of the condition, including Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) into the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Of the five PDD forms, Asperger syndrome is closest to autism in signs and likely causes; Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder share several signs with autism, but may have unrelated causes; PDD not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS; also called atypical autism) is diagnosed when the criteria are not met for a more specific disorder.
In 2013, the diagnosis of Asperger's was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), and people with these symptoms are now included within the autism spectrum disorder along with autism and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple GrandinTemple Grandin, Ph.D.the high-functioning autistic woman
Noted autistic Temple Grandin described her inability to understand the social communication of neurotypicals, or people with normal neural development, as leaving her feeling "like an anthropologist on Mars".
Mary Temple Grandin (born August 29, 1947) is an American professor of animal science at Colorado State University, consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, and autism spokesperson.

Societal and cultural aspects of autism

autistic cultureHistorical figures sometimes considered autisticSociology of autism
An autistic culture has developed, with some individuals seeking a cure and others believing autism should be accepted as a difference and not treated as a disorder.
Autism is thought of as a condition mostly affecting males, with males up to four times more likely than females to be diagnosed as autistic or Asperger syndrome.

Nonverbal autism

nonverbalcompletely nonverbalmute
Three- to five-year-old children with autism are less likely to exhibit social understanding, approach others spontaneously, imitate and respond to emotions, communicate nonverbally, and take turns with others.
Nonverbal autism is a subset of autism where the person is unable to speak.

Neurodevelopmental disorder

neurodevelopmental disordersneurodevelopmentalneurodevelopmental disability
Autism is a highly variable, neurodevelopmental disorder whose symptoms first appears during infancy or childhood, and generally follows a steady course without remission.
Some neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and other pervasive developmental disorders, are considered multifactorial syndromes which have many causes that converge to a more specific neurodevelopmental manifestation.

Savant syndrome

savantautistic savantidiot savant
An estimated 0.5% to 10% of individuals with ASD show unusual abilities, ranging from splinter skills such as the memorization of trivia to the extraordinarily rare talents of prodigious autistic savants.
Among those with autism between 1 in 10 to 200 have savant syndrome to some degree.

Imprinted brain theory

Autism may be underdiagnosed in women and girls due to an assumption that it is primarily a male condition, but genetic phenomena such as imprinting and X linkage have the ability to raise the frequency and severity of conditions in males, and theories have been put forward for a genetic reason why males are diagnosed more often, such as the imprinted brain theory and the extreme male brain theory.
In certain ways, autistic traits are the opposite of schizotypal traits, such as autism being associated with literal-mindedness while schizotypy is associated with imagination.

Air pollution

air qualityair pollutantemissions
Risk factors during pregnancy include certain infections, such as rubella, toxins including valproic acid, alcohol, cocaine, pesticides, lead, and air pollution, fetal growth restriction, and autoimmune diseases.
In a June 2014 study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, it was discovered that early exposure to air pollution causes the same damaging changes in the brain as autism and schizophrenia.

Thiomersal and vaccines

thiomersalThimerosal controversymercury in vaccines
This has led to unsupported theories blaming vaccine "overload", a vaccine preservative, or the MMR vaccine for causing autism.
Anti-vaccination activists promoting the incorrect claim that vaccination causes autism, have asserted that the mercury in thiomersal is the cause.

Empathizing–systemizing theory

extreme male brain theoryE-S theoryEmpathizing-systemizing theory
Autism may be underdiagnosed in women and girls due to an assumption that it is primarily a male condition, but genetic phenomena such as imprinting and X linkage have the ability to raise the frequency and severity of conditions in males, and theories have been put forward for a genetic reason why males are diagnosed more often, such as the imprinted brain theory and the extreme male brain theory.
The E-S theory has been extended into the 'Extreme Male Brain' (EMB) theory of autism and Asperger syndrome, which are associated in the E-S theory with below-average empathy and average or above-average systemizing.

Child development stages

developmental milestonesdevelopmental stagesmilestones
These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism experience worsening in their communication and social skills after reaching developmental milestones at a normal pace.

Joint attention

gazejoint visual attentionshared attention
Joint attention seems to be necessary for functional speech, and deficits in joint attention seem to distinguish infants with ASD.
The ability to establish joint attention may be negatively affected by deafness, blindness, and developmental disorders such as autism.

Fragile X syndrome

Fragile Xfragile-X syndromeFragile-X
Although genetic technology allows clinical geneticists to link an estimated 40% of cases to genetic causes, consensus guidelines in the US and UK are limited to high-resolution chromosome and fragile X testing.
About a third of those affected have features of autism such as problems with social interactions and delayed speech.

Autism Diagnostic Interview

Autism Diagnostic Interview-RevisedAutism Diagnostic Interview — Revised
Two are commonly used in autism research: the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is a semistructured parent interview, and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) uses observation and interaction with the child.
The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is a structured interview conducted with the parents of individuals who have been referred for the evaluation of possible autism or autism spectrum disorders.

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule

Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)
Two are commonly used in autism research: the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is a semistructured parent interview, and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) uses observation and interaction with the child.
Research-determined cut-offs identify the potential diagnosis of classic autistic disorder or related autism spectrum disorders, allowing a standardized assessment of autistic symptoms.

Medical genetics

clinical geneticsmedical geneticistgenomic medicine
Clinical genetics evaluations are often done once ASD is diagnosed, particularly when other symptoms already suggest a genetic cause.
Examples of conditions that fall within the scope of medical genetics include birth defects and dysmorphology, mental retardation, autism, mitochondrial disorders, skeletal dysplasia, connective tissue disorders, cancer genetics, teratogens, and prenatal diagnosis.

High-functioning autism

high functioning autismhigh-functioninghigh-functioning autistic
Sometimes the syndrome is divided into low-, medium- or high-functioning autism (LFA, MFA, and HFA), based on IQ thresholds, or on how much support the individual requires in daily life; these subdivisions are not standardized and are controversial.
High-functioning autism (HFA) is autism without an intellectual disability (an IQ of 70 or less).

Developmental disability

developmental disabilitiesdevelopmentally disabledmentally disabled
The manifestations of autism cover a wide spectrum, ranging from individuals with severe impairments—who may be silent, developmentally disabled, and locked into hand flapping and rocking—to high functioning individuals who may have active but distinctly odd social approaches, narrowly focused interests, and verbose, pedantic communication.

Childhood disintegrative disorder

Childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD)dementia infantilisDisintegrative disorder
Of the five PDD forms, Asperger syndrome is closest to autism in signs and likely causes; Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder share several signs with autism, but may have unrelated causes; PDD not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS; also called atypical autism) is diagnosed when the criteria are not met for a more specific disorder.
CDD has some similarity to autism, and is sometimes considered a low-functioning form of it.

Childhood Autism Rating Scale

CARS
The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) is used widely in clinical environments to assess severity of autism based on observation of children.
The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) is a behavior rating scale intended to help diagnose autism.