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Autism is not a disease a child can catch, nor is it something one can cause or create. Autism is a disorder that affects three critical areas of development: Social, Communication and Cognition leading to impairment in all these areas.

These children have no eye contact, may be hyperactive, they have repetitive stereotyped movements like flapping of the hands, do not play with other children, do not respond when called and can not imitate.

Autism is found in every country and in every region of the world, affecting both rich and poor. In every 10,000, 1 to 3 persons are affected by it. It is three to four times more common in boys than in girls. However, there has lately been a substantial worldwide increase in the number of cases of autism.

The exact cause is not known. But it is definite that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or function . That is why it is called a Developmental Neuro Behavioural Disorder.

A pediatrician or a psychiatrist is the best person to give the diagnosis, as there are a lot of medical conditions that mimic autism. A registered clinical psychologist is another professional who can do so.

Autism is a lifelong problem and there are no drugs to treat autism, unless there is a definite medical factor contributing to the cause. However, they can be helped, if detected early, to lead a functional life.

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