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Autism is a condition that currently affects many children and is especially prevalent in the US. Autism is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).
It is characterized by impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. Autism is not the only spectrum disorder currently affecting small children , Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder are other ASDs that are less prevalent but are still fairly well known in the medical community.
Recently – in the past 10 years, especially – the rates for autism have skyrocketed. Experts and medical professionals have struggled to find any sort of explanation for the rise in diagnoses and even for the disorder itself, and have come up empty handed. A number of theories have been suggested, among them, that autism is caused by mercury in drinking water supplies and certain flu vaccines, that it is being transmitted via the MMR vaccination and even that it is being caused by exposure to television.
This collection is assembled to provide you with background on every aspect of autism. Everything from background overviews of the disorder to some competing theories on autism’s root causes. Whether you want to learn more about the history of autism, find out if your child exhibits potential signs of autism, or read academic research on the most recent developments in the fight against autism, you can find it here.