Autism is a bio-neurological development disability that generally appears before the age of 3.
Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills and cognitive function. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and leisure or play activities. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, avoidance of eye contact, delayed language or speech skills, spinning, rocking or hand flapping, poor sleep etc.
Individuals with autism often suffer from numerous co-morbid medical conditions which may include allergies, asthma, epilepsy, digestive disorders and more.
Autism is diagnosed four times more often in boys than in girls. The prevalence of autism includes viral infections, feeding disorders, sensory integration dysfunction, sleeping disorders and more.
Autism itself does not affect life expectancy. However, research has shown that the mortality risk among individuals with autism is twice as high as the general population, in large part due to drowning and other accidents.
Source : Institute of Mental Health IMH(Dr. Romesh Jayasinghe)