- Asperger syndrome, elective mutism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Rett syndrome.
* * *A mental disorder characterized by severely abnormal development of social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Affected individuals may adhere to inflexible, nonfunctional rituals or routine. They may become upset with even trivial changes in their environment. They often have a limited range of interests but may become preoccupied with a narrow range of subjects or activities. They appear unable to understand others' feelings and often have poor eye contact with others. Unpredictable mood swing s may occur. Many demonstrate stereotypical motor mannerisms such as hand or finger flapping, body rocking, or dipping. The disorder is probably caused by organically based central nervous system dysfunction, especially in the ability to process social or emotional information or language. [G. autos, self]- infantile a. a severe emotional disturbance of childhood characterized by qualitative impairment in reciprocal social interaction and in communication, language, and social development. SYN: childhood schizophrenia, early infantile a., Kanner syndrome.
* * *au·tism 'ȯ-.tiz-əm n a developmental disorder that appears by age three and that is variable in expression but is recognized and diagnosed by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns esp. as exhibited by a preoccupation with repetitive activities of restricted focus rather than with flexible and imaginative ones
* * *n.1. (Kanner's syndrome, infantile autism) a rare psychiatric disorder of childhood, with an onset before the age of 2½ years. It is marked by severe difficulties in communicating and forming relationships with other people, in developing language, and in using abstract concepts; repetitive and limited patterns of behaviour (see stereotypy); and obsessive resistance to tiny changes in familiar surroundings. Autistic children find it hard to understand how other people feel, and so tend to remain isolated even into adult life. About 50% have learning disabilities, but some are very intelligent and may even be gifted in specific areas (see idiot savant). The cause is unknown, but genetic factors and brain damage may be important. The condition often progresses into adulthood, and independent living is uncommon. Treatment is not specific, but lengthy specialized education is usually necessary. Behaviour problems and anxiety can be controlled with behaviour therapy and drugs (such as phenothiazines).2. the condition of retreating from realistic thinking to self-centred fantasy thinking: a symptom of personality disorder and schizophrenia.• autistic adj.
* * *au·tism (awґtiz-əm) [aut- + -ism] 1. autistic disorder. 2. autistic thinking.
Medical dictionary. 2011.
Look at other dictionaries:
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autism — n. 1. (Med.) a mental disorder characterized by inability to engage in normal social interactions and intense self absorption, and usually accompanied by other symptoms such as language dysfunctions and repetitive behavior. Note: autism usually… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
autism — (n.) 1912, from Ger. Autismus, coined 1912 by Swiss psychiatrist Paul Bleuler (1857 1939) from comb. form of Gk. autos self (see AUTO (Cf. auto )) + ismos suffix of action or of state. The notion is of morbid self absorption … Etymology dictionary
autism — ► NOUN ▪ a mental condition characterized by great difficulty in communicating with others and in using language and abstract concepts. DERIVATIVES autistic adjective & noun. ORIGIN from Greek autos self … English terms dictionary
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Autism — This article is about the classic autistic disorder; some writers use the word autism when referring to the range of disorders on the autism spectrum or to the various pervasive developmental disorders. Autism … Wikipedia
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autism — autist, n. autistic /aw tis tik/, adj. autistically, adv. /aw tiz euhm/, n. 1. Psychiatry. a pervasive developmental disorder of children, characterized by impaired communication, excessive rigidity, and emotional detachment. 2. a tendency to… … Universalium
autism — [[t]ɔ͟ːtɪzəm[/t]] N UNCOUNT Autism is a severe mental disorder that affects children and makes them unable to respond to other people … English dictionary
autism — n. 1) (Kanner s syndrome, infantile autism) a psychiatric disorder of childhood, with an onset before the age of 2½ years. It is marked by severe difficulties in communicating and forming relationships with other people, in developing language,… … The new mediacal dictionary