The term autism was first coined in the year 1911 by Eugen Bleuler who was a psychiatrist from Switzerland.
Autism is a disorder in the development of the brain where the person suffers from impaired abilities of communication and social interaction. Autism has no cure and will follow the person throughout their natural lives.
It is generally recognized by the parents of a child within two years of age. The important thing about autism is that there is not one thing in particular that can be called a symptom of it. There are numerous things that point to the fact that a child may be autistic. These signs are things like lack of social development which relates to Autism Spectrum Disorders also known as ASD. The indicators of this are that an autistic child will seldom make eye contact, will be less responsive to social stimuli and is less likely to respond to his/her name. They also exhibit communication by manipulating others. Another indicator is that the autistic child has a noticeable lag in the development of speech. The development of their natural speech is often not enough to help them even through daily communication. One thing that may be displayed under this category is that when you point at something, the child is more likely to look at your hand, which is pointing, rather than look at what you are pointing to. Autistic children find it difficulty to play imaginative games and associate/ develop languages through symbols.
Repetitive behavior is also an indicator of autism. The things that would be considered such would be rocking the body, making sounds and flapping the hands. They will also have sign like an aversion to changes like moving of furniture and dislike at being interrupted. They will have fixed “habits” and will do things exactly the same way. The behavior will seem compulsive and should not be taken lightly as another part of repetitive behavior is that about 30% of autistic people indulge in actions that can lead to harms to self like banging the head, pinching the skin or poking the eye. Some of the more rare indications of autism are various abilities like excellent memory where the person may be able to remember trivia to an amazing detail. Another such sign would be great skills in perception and attention.
The problem of autism is not only a drain of the person affected by but also on those around them, the family. The treatment of this is not a common one as it is highly dependant on the child/person and will vary however the main goal of all efforts made are to provide the person with independence and functionality.
Things like structured teaching, social skills, speech and language therapy, etc have been know to help. Along with this drugs like anti depressants and stimulants may also be given to the person. The thing to remember is that no matter what treatment is followed it will not be of use till the person has the love and support of his/her family and loved ones