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There are many diseases and disorders that plague todays society but one of the most serious of those disorders is autism Autism is not nearly as widely known as the familiar Downs Syndrome yet surprisingly autism is far more widespread In fact autism is the third most common developmental disability affecting 400000 people worldwide Autism Society of America As of yet there is no cure for this debilitating disorder only a variety of treatments Autism is a developmental disability not a mental illness that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects 15 of every 10000 individuals No one is certain why it occurs but researchers have found that MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans of people with autism show abnormalities in the structure of the brain Significant abnormalities include differences in the cerebellum and in the size and number of Purkinje cells within the brain Sometimes there is a pattern that exists within families from generation to generation This indicates the possibility that autism is genetically related However no gene has been found Every person with autism is different and there is no set type or typical person with autism This is because autism is a spectrum disorder meaning that symptoms and characteristics of the disorder can present themselves in a variety of ways from mild to severe Usually children with autism have deficiencies in both verbal and non-verbal communication Their language develops slowly or not at all and they have very short attention spans They often lack social skills and will spend time alone rather than with others In more severe cases children have unusual reactions to physical sensations such as being overly sensitive to touch or under responsive to pain Most commonly children with autism lack imagination and imitate others ideas rather than initiate their own Lastly behavior is greatly affected by autism They may be overactive or very passive and throw frequent tantrums injuring themselves for no apparent reason
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