1. The prevalence of autism in the world is very high. The data varies, but on the whole it is possible to talk about 1 person per 1000 for true autism and six times more for autism spectrum disorders.
2. The number of diagnosed “autism”, for example, in the United States, has greatly increased in recent years (from 1996 to 2007 – 5 times). However, it is not a fact that this is due to the increase in morbidity, and not with the specification of the diagnostic criteria and the rules of the health care system.
3. So far, scientists have not proposed a single picture of changes in the brain leading to autism. Among the hypotheses: an excess of neurons in some areas of the brain, an imbalance of excitation and inhibition in neural networks, a violation in neuromigration in the early stages of development, an incorrect formation of dendritic synapses and spines.
4. Autism certainly has genetic causes , but it is not associated with the mutation of a particular gene. The genetics of autism is complex and represents the interaction of a large number of genes.
5. The diagnosis of “autism” is not one symptom. In order for the psychiatrist to fully determine the verdict, he must see a pronounced “autistic triad” : a violation of mutual communication, a lack of socialization, limited interests and repetitive patterns of behavior.
6. For autism screening , the following principle applies: a child must be shown to a specialist if any of these conditions are met:
By the first year of life the child is not babbling yet .
By the first year of life, he does not gesticulate ( he does not point at the objects, does not wave his hand at parting, etc.).
By 16 months does not pronounce words .
For two years no utters spontaneously phrases of two words (excluding echolalia – repeating what he heard).
At any age, there is a loss of any part of the language or social skills.
7. Usually, the autistic is characterized by a very low IQ . On average, half of autistic IQs are less than 50, 70% have less than 70, and almost 100% have fewer than 100. However, there are also unique cases (see clause 10).
8. About autism is described in detail in one of the series of the famous series ” Doctor House .” Of course, the great Gregory House does not cure autism in the series “Lines in the Sand.” An autistic is his patient, a boy with some strange problem that he can not tell. Nevertheless, it was House who was able to establish contact with the baby and understand what he was trying to say: worms-ascarids settled in his eyes. Nevertheless, these are not all moments in the series related to autism: colleagues who are bored with House’s strange attitude towards themselves are trying to put a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome in their colleagues – an easy degree of autism.
9. The well-known term ” Asperger syndrome “, which is commonly treated as autism-light, was named after the Austrian psychiatrist Hans Asperger, who described him in 1944, although he himself preferred the term “autistic psychopathy”. Usually the line between autism and “asperger” is spent on the preservation of cognitive and speech skills, which remain more or less intact in the latter. However, it is possible that soon the Asperger syndrome will go away. At least from the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), adopted in the United States, the term disappeared, and autism spectrum disorders appeared instead.
10. Very rarely autistic “savant syndrome” is associated – outstanding abilities in some area of ??intellectual activity against the background of a common autistic disorder. Among them – the famous Kim Peak, a man with a phenomenal memory (about him the film “Rain Man” was shot) or an outstanding British calculator Daniel Tammet.