Possibly because of the reported 556% increase in the pediatric prevalence of autism between 1991 and 1997,1 the classical presentation of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) is currently an area of widespread study. In addition to autistic disorder or classic autism, ASD comprises five categories of pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) described in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, of which the remaining four are Asperger's disorder; disintegrative disorder; PDD not otherwise specified, or atypical autism; and Rett's disorder, a genetic disorder of postnatal brain development caused by a defect in a single gene.2
ASD is characterized by impairments in three behavioral domains. The first is social interaction, often marked by deficits in reciprocal social interaction; a developmentally delayed or absent ability to communicate verbally; and difficulty with nonverbal cues, such as facial expression, body posture, and eye-to-eye contact. The second is communication. Deficits are also typically present in communication, imaginative play, and the normal range of childhood interests and activities. The third is that individuals with ASD often exhibit repetitive, stereotyped behavior, have restricted areas of interest, exhibit repetitive motor mannerisms, and require strict routines or rituals in order to accord with appropriate social standards and have their needs met.
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Whenever a doctor informs the parents that their child is suffering with Autism, the first & foremost question that is thrown over him is - How did it happen? How did my child get this disease? Well, there is no definite answer to what are the exact causes of Autism.