Autism is a mental disorder that is usually first diagnosed in early childhood. The main signs and symptoms of autism involve communication, social interactions and repetitive behaviors.
Children with autism might have problems talking with you, or they might not look you in the eye when you talk to them. They may have to line up their pencils before they can pay attention, or they may say the same sentence again and again to calm themselves down. They may flap their arms to tell you they are happy, or they might hurt themselves to tell you they are not. Some people with autism never learn how to talk.
The cause of autism is not known. Autism lasts throughout a person's lifetime. It occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and is four times more likely to occur in boys than girls.
There is no cure, but treatment can help. Treatments include behavior and communication therapies and medicines to control symptoms.
Reality to an autistic person is a confusing, interacting mass of events, people, places, sounds and sights. There seems to be no clear boundaries, order or meaning to anything.
For further information about autism please refer to the following sites:
www.autismus.de (in German language)
www.autism.com (in English language)
www.autismchina.org (in Chinese language)