Autism is a syndrome characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication and by stereotyped and repetitive behaviours, with onset of symptoms usually before the age of 3 years. About 75% of affected individuals also have some intellectual impairment.

Keywords: macrocephaly; serotonin; repetitive behaviour; CHAT; ADI

Further Reading

Cohen DJ and Volkmar FR (eds) (1997) Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. New York: Wiley.

Kanner L (1943) Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous Child 2: 217–250. (Reprinted in L Kanner (1973) Childhood Psychosis: Initial Studies and New Insights. Washington DC: Winston.)

Lord C and Rutter M (1995) Autism and pervasive developmental disorders. In Rutter M, Hersov L and Taylor E (eds) Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Modern Approaches, pp. 569–593. London: Blackwell Scientific Publications.

Siegel B (1996) The World of the Autistic Child: Understanding and Treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Piven, Joseph(Jul 2003) Autism. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001481]