Autism is a neurodevelopmental disordercharacterized by impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child’s life. These signs often develop gradually, though some children with autism reach their developmental milestones at a normal pace and then regress.
Autism is a life-affecting disorder characterized by a profound withdrawal from contact with people, repetitive behaviour, and fear of change in the environment. The emotional disorder affects the brain’s ability to receive and process information. People who have autism find it difficult to act in a way that other people think is “normal”. They find it difficult to talk to other people, to look at other people and often do not like being touched by other people. They may talk only to themselves, rock themselves backwards and forwards, and laugh at their own thoughts. They do not like any type of change and may find it very difficult to learn a new behaviour.People with autism may be severely impaired in some respects but normal, or even superior, in others.
- Stereotypy is repetitive movement, such as hand flapping, head rolling, or body rocking.
- Compulsive behavior is intended and appears to follow rules, such as arranging objects in stacks or lines.
- Sameness is resistance to change; for example, insisting that the furniture not be moved or refusing to be interrupted.
- Ritualistic behavior involves an unvarying pattern of daily activities, such as an unchanging menu or a dressing ritual.
- Restricted behavior is limited in focus, interest, or activity, such as preoccupation with a single television program, toy or game.
- Self-injury includes movements that injure the person, such as eye-poking, skin-picking, hand-biting and head-banging.