autism

(redirected from autistics)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.
Related to autistics: autism

autism

(ô`tĭzəm), developmental disability resulting from a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain. It is characterized by the abnormal development of communication skills, social skills, and reasoning. Males are affected four times as often as females. Children may appear generally normal until around the age of 24 to 30 months, although studies have identified signs of autism in children under a year of age.

Symptoms, which vary widely in severity, include impairment in social interaction, fixation on inanimate objects, inability to communicate normally, and resistance to changes in daily routine. Characteristic traits include lack of eye contact, repetition of words or phrases, unmotivated tantrums, inability to express needs verbally, and insensitivity to pain. Behaviors may change over time. Autistic children often have other disorders of brain function; about two thirds are mentally retarded; over one quarter develop seizures.

The cause of autism remains unclear, but a psychological one has been ruled out. Neurological studies indicate a primary brain dysfunction, perhaps related to abnormalities that appear to occur in the way the autistic child's brain develops. A genetic component is indicated by a pattern of autism in some families, and studies have suggested that a number of genes may be involved. Exposure in the womb to elevated levels of steroid hormones has been found to be associated with autism in boys in one study, but study compared the average levels of two groups of boys (one with, the without, autism) and individual levels in the two groups overlapped. The condition also appears to be more common in children born to older mothers or older fathers. Treatment in which autistic children are intensively and repetitively taught skills and behaviors from a young age appears to help some children with the disorder.

Bibliography

See T. Grandin, Emergence: Labeled Autistic (with M. M. Scariano, 1986, repr. 1996), Thinking in Pictures (1995), and The Autistic Brain (with R. Panek, 2013); L. Wing, ed., Aspects of Autism (1988); J. Donvan and C. Zucker, In a Different Key (2016). See also publications of the Autism Society of America.

autism

[′ȯ‚tiz·əm]
(psychology)
A schizophrenic symptom characterized by absorption in fantasy to the exclusion of perceptual reality.

autism

Psychiatry abnormal self-absorption, usually affecting children, characterized by lack of response to people and actions and limited ability to communicate
References in periodicals archive ?
As well as assisting those who are wondering if they sit on the autistic spectrum, this guide is also useful for those who are already clinically diagnosed as they can find out more about the origins of the clinical view of autism and the potential challenges faced by those who declare their autistic status to friends and colleagues in their social or work environment.
Temple Grandin, the renowned autistic agricultural scientist and author who had a HBO film made of her life story says of AM I AUTISTIC?
Laurent Mottron's article claims that science should do its part to bring back autistics as members of the human community.
He said unusual activity in autistic people's brains should be seen as "evidence simply of their alternative, yet sometimes successful, brain organisation.
The same autistic individuals who score near or below the IQ cutoff for "low functioning" or "mental retardation" achieve average or even superior scores on a test that taps a person's ability to infer rules and to think abstractly about geometric patterns, Mottron's team reports in the August Psychological Science.
Autistic people solve problems and deploy neural resources in unusual ways, which are poorly understood and might contribute to problems with IQ tests, he asserts.
This study builds on our previous findings and should help educators capitalize on the intellectual abilities of autistics," said senior researcher Laurent Mottron, the new Marcel and Rolande Gosselin Research Chair in Autism Cognitive Neuroscience of the Universite de Montreal and psychiatry professor.
This case illustrates the encouraging, but preliminary, results of the first controlled trials of clomipramine in autistic children.
The only clinical difference among the Utah autistics involved IQ -- an average of 42 among the 26 with the rare diseases versus 60 among the rest.
Psychoanalytically oriented treatment, which has fallen out of favor in the past 20 years, often removes autistics from their homes and attempts to create a healthy environment with clinicians taking on the role of supportive parents.
Obtaining the brain of a deceased autistic person for scientific study is no easy task; autistics have a normal life span, surviving relatives are often unaware of the few autopsy research efforts and the disorder is uncommon, affecting an estimated 5 of 10,000 persons.
Many clinicians who work with autistic children believe that the severe social and language problems characterizing the disorder affect nearly all behaviors and interactions.