Autism is neither of the above. Autism is a life-long
developmental disorder. It
was only ‘officially’ described and named by Leo Kanner in the 1943, although
there is evidence that the disorder existed long before that.
- Autism is a neuro-biological disorder. Evidence strongly indicates that
autistic behaviour is due to physiological dysfunction
within the brain.
- Autism is not caused by bad parenting or neglect.
- Autism is not
confined to children, i.e. autistic children do not ‘grow out
of’ autism. Autism lasts throughout life. However, behavioural changes do
occur with increasing age.
- Autistic people do not necessarily have special or ‘savant’ skills. Some autistic
people do have unusual drawing abilities, musical talents, exceptional rote-memory
or even lightning-speed mathematical calculation. However, these cases are
in the minority (about 10%) rather than being the norm.
- Autism is found at all IQ levels, from below average
intelligence to genius levels. However, general learning difficulties (or
intellectual handicaps) commonly accompany autism - about 50% of the time.
- Autism can be described as a severe disorder of communication, socialisation
and imagination. These characteristics have been termed the Triad