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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

            In 1908, the word autism is used to describe mentally ill patients who were especially withdrawn and self-absorbed. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors which begin with children and don't have a specific cure. .
             The most striking feature of autism is having difficulties interacting socially. Children with autism appear to be uninterested in the social world, completely disregarding the loud, complicated and emotionally loaded human interactions. For example, Noah is four and he goes to preschool twice a week. He seems quiet and often plays alone. Sometimes he communicates in a way that others think is unusual and doesn't seem to be making any specific friendships with other children. Also, unlike many of his peers, Noah doesn't engage in imaginative play or storytelling. Noah is "one out of sixty-eight children" who is affected by autism spectrum disorder in the United States and one "out of three children" with autism who have difficulties interacting socially, according to the Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Each person's autism affects them differently and having difficulties interacting socially is only one of these features.
             Others who have autism may also struggle to communicate nonverbally. Children with ASD are often unable to use gestures, such as pointing to an object to give meaning to their speech. Most children will often avoid eye contact, which can make them seem rude, uninterested, or inattentive. Without meaningful gestures or the language to communicate, many children with ASD become frustrated in their attempts to make their feelings and needs known. This may lead to them acting out their frustrations through vocal outbursts or other inappropriate behaviors.

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