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Diseases » Autism » Summary
 

What is Autism?

What is Autism?

  • Autism: Childhood mental condition with social and communication difficulties.
  • Autism: type of autism characterized by very early detection (< 30 months), social coldness, grossly impaired communication, and bizarre motor responses.>
    Source - Diseases Database
  • Autism: (psychiatry) an abnormal absorption with the self; marked by communication disorders and short attention span and inability to treat others as people.
    Source - WordNet 2.1

Ophanet, a consortium of European partners, currently defines a condition rare when it affects 1 person per 2,000. They list Autism as a "rare disease".
Source - Orphanet

Autism: Introduction

Types of Autism:

Types of Autism:

Broader types of Autism:

How many people get Autism?

Prevalance of Autism: 1 in 500 to 1 in 2,500 (NIMH); 1-in-1000 to 2-in-1000, depending on diagnostic criteria
Prevalance Rate of Autism: approx 1 in 500 or 0.20% or 544,000 people in USA [about data]
Incidence (annual) of Autism: 3,000 new cases in the USA 2001 (BBC News, 2002)
Incidence Rate of Autism: approx 1 in 90,666 or 0.00% or 3,000 people in USA [about data]
Prevalance of Autism: Autism affects an estimated 10 to 20 of every 10,000 people, depending on the diagnostic criteria used. Most estimates that include people with similar disorders are two to three times greater. (Source: excerpt from Autism Fact Sheet: NINDS) ... Autism affects an estimated 10 to 20 of every 10,000 people, depending on diagnostic criteria used, and strikes males about four times more often than females. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Autism Information Page: NINDS) ... Emerging in childhood, it affects about 1 or 2 people in every thousand and is three to four times more common in boys than girls. (Source: excerpt from Autism: NIMH)

Who gets Autism?

Patient Profile for Autism: Usually starts in first 3 years, typically 18-36 months.

Profile for Autism: Autism strikes males about four times as often as females, and has been found throughout the world in people of all racial and social backgrounds. (Source: excerpt from Autism Fact Sheet: NINDS) ... Symptoms usually appear during the first three years of childhood and continue through life. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Autism Information Page: NINDS)

Gender Profile for Autism: 4 times more common in males than females

Gender Profile for Autism: Autism is about 4 times more common in boys than girls. Girls with the disorder, however, tend to have more severe symptoms and greater cognitive impairment. 27 (Source: excerpt from The Numbers Count: NIMH)

How serious is Autism?

Prognosis of Autism: Normal life expectancy but impaired social function.
Complications of Autism: see complications of Autism
Prognosis of Autism: Although there is no cure, appropriate early educational intervention may improve social development and reduce undesirable behaviors. People with autism have a normal life expectancy. (Source: excerpt from Autism Fact Sheet: NINDS) ... Autism varies a great deal in severity. The most severe cases are marked by extremely repetitive, unusual, self-injurious, and aggressive behavior. This behavior may persist over time and prove very difficult to change, posing a tremendous challenge to those who must live with, treat, and teach these individuals. The mildest forms of autism resemble a personality disorder associated with a perceived learning disability. (Source: excerpt from Autism Fact Sheet: NINDS) ... Symptoms in many children with autism improve with intervention or as the children mature. Some people with autism eventually lead normal or near-normal lives. About a third of children with autistic spectrum disorders eventually develop epilepsy. The risk is highest in children with severe cognitive impairment and motor deficits. Adolescence may worsen behavior problems in some children with autism, who may become depressed or increasingly unmanageable. Parents should be ready to adjust treatment for their child's changing needs. (Source: excerpt from Autism Fact Sheet: NINDS) ... People with autism have normal life expectancies. Symptoms in many children improve with intervention or as the children age. Some people with autism eventually lead normal or near-normal lives. (Source: excerpt from NINDS Autism Information Page: NINDS)

What causes Autism?

Causes of Autism: see causes of Autism
Causes of Autism: Autism has no single cause. Researchers have identified a number of genes that play a role in the disorder. In some children, environmental factors also may play a role in development of the disorder. Studies of people with autism have found abnormalities in several regions of the brain, including the cerebellum, amygdala, hippocampus, septum, and mamillary bodies. Neurons in these regions appear smaller than normal and have stunted nerve fibers, which may interfere with nerve signaling. These abnormalities suggest that autism results from disruption of normal brain development early in fetal development. Other studies suggest that people with autism have abnormalities of serotonin or other signaling molecules in the brain. While these findings are intriguing, they are preliminary and require further study. The early belief that parental practices are responsible for autism has now been disproved. (Source: excerpt from Autism Fact Sheet: NINDS)
Risk factors for Autism: see risk factors for Autism

What are the symptoms of Autism?

Symptoms of Autism: see symptoms of Autism

Complications of Autism: see complications of Autism

Can anyone else get Autism?

Inheritance: see inheritance of Autism

Autism: Testing

Diagnostic testing: see tests for Autism.

Misdiagnosis: see misdiagnosis and Autism.

How is it treated?

Doctors and Medical Specialists for Autism: General practitioner, Primary care physician, Pediatrician, Psychiatrist, Neurologist, Psychologist, Speech and language therapist, Behavioral psychologist, Neuropsychologist, Family counselor ; see also doctors and medical specialists for Autism.
Treatments for Autism: see treatments for Autism
Research for Autism: see research for Autism

Society issues for Autism

Costs of Autism: more than $3 billion each year in health and educational services (NIMH)
Costs of Autism: In addition to loss of personal potential, the cost of health and educational services to those affected exceeds $3 billion each year. (Source: excerpt from Autism: NIMH)

Hospitalization statistics for Autism: The following are statistics from various sources about hospitalizations and Autism:

  • 0.006% (750) of hospital consultant episodes were for childhood autism in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 97% of hospital consultant episodes for childhood autism required hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 68% of hospital consultant episodes for childhood autism were for men in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 32% of hospital consultant episodes for childhood autism were for women in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 19% of hospital consultant episodes for childhood autism required emergency hospital admission in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • 18.9 days was the mean length of stay in hospitals for childhood autism in England 2002-03 (Hospital Episode Statistics, Department of Health, England, 2002-03)
  • more statistics...»

Organs Affected by Autism:

Organs and body systems related to Autism include:

Name and Aliases of Autism

Main name of condition: Autism

Class of Condition for Autism: behavior, autoimmune possibly

Other names or spellings for Autism:

Autistic disorder, Classic autism

Autistic disorder, Kanner's syndrome Source - Diseases Database

Autism: Related Conditions

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Autism:

 

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