Autism is a neurological condition characterized by impairments in social, communicative, and behavioral development. It is three times as common, as ADHD, in boys. The level of severity varies and the problem of autism is international in scope. It has been described as a "public health concern."
In 1943 Dr. Leo Kanner of the Johns Hopkins Hospital studied a group of 11 children and introduced the label early infantile autism.
A German scientist, about the same time, labeled a milder form of the disorder which became known as Asperger syndrome. See it here to know more about autism in Children.
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These are two the most common of the disorders known as pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), or as autism spectrum disorders.
The five PDD disorders are autism, Asperger syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (the latter two being less common than the first two).
Also, a 5th is labeled as PDD-NOS, which is a pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, a disorder that does not meet the specific criteria for the other commonly diagnosed disorders.
At times it takes discernment on the part of parents and treatment teams, psychologists, and professionals in determining whether a child has ADHD, autism, or some other disorder.
Many success stories related to autism give a ray of hope to parents whose children are autistic and should encourage them to take whatever positive steps they can to work with their children to see what might be of help.
For some children, full recovery might not be possible, for others, that might be hope for a better life through therapy and lifestyle adjustments.