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Autism

08 Feb 2012
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OVERVIEW

Autism is a developmental disorder, stemming from abnormal brain processes, that affects the brain's development of communication and social skills.

Symptoms of autistic behaviour usually appear in the first three years of life.

Causes

Causes of autism may include:

  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Neurological factors
  • Psychological factors
  • Fragile X syndrome
  • Tuberous sclerosis
  • Rett syndrome

 

Symptoms
  • Difficulties with social interaction
  • Impaired language and communication skills
  • Unusual physical behaviour and patterns of thought
  • Repetitive behaviour

 

Treatment

Treatment for autism may involve all or a combination of the following:

  • Speech and language therapy
  • Behaviour therapy
  • Learning cognitive skills
  • Encouraging traditional academic skills
  • Medication
  • Complementary therapies (special diets, vitamin supplements, removal of mercury from the body)

 

Classic autism and Asperger syndrome are both autistic spectrum disorders (ASD).

 

VIDEOS

 

Video: Healthline – Defining Autism

 

 


Video: Autistic Spectrum Disorder

 

 


Video: Autism Information – What is Autism?

 

RESOURCES & SUPPORT

Local

Autism New Zealand Inc.
Learning & Behaviour Charitable Trust NZ
New Zealand Autism Spectrum Disorder Guideline (2008)

 

International

The National Autistic Society (UK)
Autism Society (US)

 

RESEARCH

The New Zealand Medical Journal
British Medical Journal
Journal of the American Medical Association
The Lancet

 

FORUMS

Wrong Planet Autism Forum

 

 

DISCLAIMER
The information above is of a general nature and is designed to provide you with an overview of the topic, with links to local and international resources that may be of interest.  We do our best to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date.

You should always, however, seek specific professional medical advice, treatment and care appropriate to you, and as such we strongly recommend you consult with your general practitioner first.

 

 

Updated April 2012
Image source: Wikipedia – Autism