National Association of Parents of Autistic People
The term AUTISM denotes a neurobiological syndrome involving complex disabilities. Autism manifests itself and is detectable in early childhood, presenting as difficulties in communication, social interaction and behavioral patterns. Recent literature (Prior, 2003) suggests a incidence of 0.6 percent of children at birth, with an estimated rate of one in 500 if we include spectrum disorders.
Autism levels range from moderate to severe, but the development of mental functions is significantly compromised in every sufferer. The consequence is a severe disability.
Clinical features of Autism include:
in the area of reciprocal social relationships
in all aspects of communication
restricted, limited, repetitive and stereotyped behavioral patterns and activities
onset before the age of three
Autism affects males four times more than females.
It has been observed
throughout the world
in all ethnic groups and social environments
The most serious manifestations of Autism typically comprise the following:
excessively repetitive behavior
extremely unconventional behavior
aggression against self or others
The situation of autistic teenagers and adults is of particular concern in that:
they often have to be cared for by their families
appropriate therapy is often not available