Autism is defined as a pervasive developmental disorder in which the patients have severe impairments in social interaction, including verbal and non-verbal communication and general cognitive development. According to the DSM-IV Autism Spectrum Disorders are characterized by developmental delays in children when dealing with socialization and communication, along with restricted, repetitive and stereotypical patterns of behavior. Those with autism display the inability to communicate with the world around them. It is a neurodevelopmental disorder that often presents within the first three years and usually within the first 30 months of a child’s life and then continues on throughout the patients life hopefully getting better with treatment. In infants those with the disorder tend to not be attached to their parents, not caring to be held or be interacted with in any physical or emotional way. It is common for the disorder to go unnoticed for a period of time due to the outer appearance not indicating any problem until a detailed physical and neurological exam takes place. However, it is more common to notice the slight antisocial or awkward behaviors that those with the disorder perform, such as repeating movements like rocking back and forth, clapping fingers and hands, or twisting their body around. Often when speaking with a patient with the disorder there is a little to no eye contact or facial expression and or other emotional connection, usually they will be preoccupied with something they are holding or something that they see in the distance. In relation to emotional connections the patient will rarely look comfort in others during times of distress, or to share pleasure. The impairments continue to become a pro...
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...hen a patient has the disorder there are screening tests that are used such as the Checklist for Autism in toddlers, along with assessments of motor and verbal skills. Testing motor and verbal skills is completed via sensory processing for children between five and twelve and is coupled with a sensory profile. Some disorders that are often confused with and or mistaken for autism are infantile hydrocephalus, mixed, phonologic or receptive language disorders, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, trisomy 22, schizophrenia, Asperger syndrome, and PPD NOS. Many times people associate the term savant with patients with autism. Savant is used when describing someone autistic who has an extreme talent in one area or another, such as rapid math and or computer programming abilities. However most autistics are not savants and this term is not specific to only those with autism.
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