These abnormalities suggest that autism results from disruption of normal brain development early in fetal development.Other studies suggest that people with autism have abnormalities of serotonin or other signaling molecules in the brain.

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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.

Girls with Rett’s syndrome, a sex-linked genetic disorder characterized by inadequate brain growth, seizures, and other neurological problems, also may show autistic behavior.

PDD – NOS, Asperger syndrome, CDD, and Rett’s syndrome are sometimes referred to as autism spectrum disorders.

Also called: Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

Autism is a disorder that is usually first diagnosed in early childhood.

Although there is no cure, appropriate management may foster relatively normal development and reduce undesirable behaviors. Autism affects an estimated two to 10 of every 10,000 people, depending on the diagnostic criteria used.

Most estimates that include people with similar disorders are two to three times greater.

The term Asperger syndrome is sometimes used to describe people with autistic behavior but well-developed language skills.

Children who appear normal in their first several years, then lose skills and begin showing autistic behavior, may be diagnosed with childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD).

They appear unaware of others’ feelings toward them and of the negative impact of their behavior on other people.