What is autism?

Autistic syndrome (commonly called autism) is not very well-known, even in medical world. According to International Classification of Diseases ICD 10) and (as well as) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM IV), it’s a complex neurodevelopmental trouble part of the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). It is not a mental disease, but a deficiency, a handicap.

Those classifications are globally recognized and adopt as reference. Even if terms as “psychosis”, “deficit psychosis” or “infantile schizophrenia” were used to designate (name) PDD and autism, medical world agrees today to distinguish autism and schizophrenia. Autism can affect child before three years old.

Several terminologies are used : autism, autistic syndrome, autistic spectrum, PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders).

Autistic syndrome is usually present by grouping of a set of pathological signs associating:

- Communication disorders, child seems not understand what we asked of him.

- Socialization trouble, child is confined in his world, and he can’t communicate with other people;

- Resistance to change with constriction of center of interest. There will be repetitive and stereotype : child can’t open to life because he is hooked to repetitive movements and center of interest who seems meaningless.

For many of children, symptoms decreases thanks to treatment (remedy) and ages. When they grow up, some autism child lived normally. Therapy and behavioral intervention can target specific syndrome and afford significant improvement. Counter to what happens twenty years ago, when much autism were place in institution, today there is more flexible solutions. In general (mostly), only seriously affected person lived in institution.