The Autism spectrum disorders

Autism is a neurological disorder that interferes in the normal development of the brain and usually appears during the first three years of a child’s life. This developmental disorder modifies the way the brain processes information. Consequently, the autistic child develops in a different way and at a different pace than other children.

In terms of behavior, the disorder translates into an important lack of interest for social activities and relationships, communication problems, repetitive activities and behaviors, and limited interests.

Moreover, the autistic child often suffers from anxiety, often has eating problems and sleeping difficulties. He is prone to sudden accesses of anger and can express aggression towards others and himself.

Contrary to popular belief, autistic children are not less intelligent than children said to be normal. Recent researches reveal that only 40 % of them suffer from intellectual deficiency and this percentage includes children who have a normal intelligence but who cannot use it because of difficulties in processing data.

 

Today, one child out of 88 is diagnosed as being autistic. Autistic persons express such a variety of symptoms and characteristics that specialists regard this condition as a broad spectrum covering various types of problems and being itself a part of the vastest category of pervasive developmental disorders (P.D.D.), along with the childhood disintegrative disorder, Asperger syndrome, non specified P.D.D.’s, and Rett syndrome.