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In general autism is the developmental disability that prevents individuals from properly understanding what they see hear or otherwise sense Approximately 3 to 5 out of every 10000 school aged children have some for of autism and males with the disorder outnumber females with it by nearly 5 to 1 It is estimated that 1 in every 500 display some autistic characteristics Williams xiv Autism is called a spectrum disorder because there is no one characteristic and it is different in every person Parents may hear labels such as autistic-like learning disabled with autistic tendencies high or low functioning autism These labels dont describe differences in the child as much as the differences in the professionals training vocabulary and exposure to autism autism zone review Autism and related disorders are grouped under the broad heading of Pervasive Development Disorder or PDD Autism PDD-NOS pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified Aspergers syndrome and Retts syndrome are the four diagnoses used to describe individuals who manifest some but not all characteristics of autism Dalldorf 1 There is no definite test for autism Autism is usually first diagnosed in children when they are about 2 years old A child may display normal or above normal development until this age and suddenly change It is unknown exactly what causes autism but it is a biological problem and a childs environment has nothing to do with the disorder Martin 2-4 Also there is no one treatment to help autistic people There are dozens of ways that seem to help and for every person it is different First there are the characteristics that are most common in autistic people to varying degrees Delays in the development of language or no development at all If it does develop then there is often use of words without attachment of normal meaning use of unusual metaphors or speak in the formal and talk in a monotone voice Martin They usually avoid eye contact and
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