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It has been over 50 years since Dr Leo Kanner a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University wrote the first paper applying the term autism to a group of children who were self-absorbed and who had severe social communication and behavioral problems For many years the most cited statistic is that autism occurs in 45 out of 10000 live births This was based on large scale surveys conducted in the United States and England More recently estimates on the prevalence of autism have ranged been as high as to of the population Autism is three times more likely to affect males than females This gender difference is not unique to autism since many developmental disabilities have a greater male to female ratio Autistic infants are different from birth they are usually described as being either passive or overly agitated babies Two common characteristics they exhibit include arching their back to avoid physical contact and they are unable to anticipate being picked up they become limb During infancy many begin to rock andor bang their head against their crib About one half of autistic children develop normally until about 15 to 3 years of age then autistic symptoms begin to emerge Some autistic toddlers reach developmental milestones like talking crawling and walking much earlier than the average child although others develop much slower As an autistic child grow older they may fall very much behind in area of social skills communication and cognitive In addition dysfunctional behaviors may start to appear such as self-stimulatory behaviors like repetitive non-goal directed behavior such as rocking hand flapping hand biting head banging sleeping and eating problems poor eye contact and insensitivity to pain Another characteristics of autism is insistence on sameness Many children become over insistent on routines if one is changed even slightly the child may become upset and throw a tantrum An example of this is wearing the same clothing or
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