Autism is a complex neurobehavioral disorder that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills and rigid, repetitive behaviors. The disorder covers a large spectrum of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment. It ranges in severity from a handicap that limits an otherwise normal life to a devastating disability that may require institutional care.
By Dr. Mercola
When I was in medical school, more than 30 years ago, the incidence of autism was one in 100,000. Today, the incidence has climbed to 1 in 50, according to CDC statistics.
This is a startling increase from 2008 data, which showed one in 88 children had the condition. Some experts believe that if you consider the full range of neurological disorders that could fall under the wider umbrella of “Autism Spectrum Disorder,” the incidence may be as high as one in 10!
The video above features Dr. Temple Grandin, author of The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum. In it, she discusses the transformation that has occurred since autism first became recognized.
Originally, the study of autism was primarily confined to the fields of psychology, and then genetics. Today, much of the research has moved into neurology, and Dr. Grandin shares some of the more exciting discoveries, including the …
Many people with autism are cognitively impairted to some degree. In contrast to more typical cognitive impairment, which is characterized by relatively even skill development, people with autism show uneven skill development. They may have problems in certain areas, especially the ability to communicate and relate to others. But they may have unusually developed skills in other areas, such as drawing, creating music, solving math problems, or memorizing facts. For this reason, they may test higher — perhaps even in the average or above-average range — on nonverbal intelligence tests.