What is Autism?

Dr Robin Friedlander, MD, FRCPC, Child Psychiatrist, discusses What is Autism?

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Dr Robin Friedlander, MD, FRCPC, Child Psychiatrist, discusses What is Autism?
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Robin Friedlander, MD, FRCPC, Child Psychiatrist
What is Autism?
Duration: 2 minutes, 23 seconds

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder which means it's an abnormality or difference in brain development and it's one of the most common neuro-developmental conditions approaching one percent of the population, so that's 1 in 100 children.  

The disorder seems to be much more common in the diagnose nowadays than it was many years ago and is a bit of a controversy as to whether is the condition actually more common or are we just recognizing it more because we're more aware of it?

Autism is a condition that we often call a triad of problems. The children and the children become adults so it's actually a lifespan condition. They don't just stop being autistic when they turn 19 even though often the services are very different for children and adults. But the children have a triad of conditions which are considered social, communication and some behavioral issues.

So autism appears normally in the first three years of life. It's sometimes apparent very early on in life in the first year and sometimes the symptoms only really become apparent after a year of apparently normal development. We're not really sure why that is.

So autism is what's called a spectrum so we talk about autism spectrum disorders which means that there are children that have mild forms of autism and children that have more severe forms of autism.

There is great excitement about early intervention for children with autism because some children with autism who have early – what we call intensive early behavioral intervention, also called ABA, can improve significantly from this intensive behavioral intervention before the age of five or six.  

Who responds? The children who have milder forms of autism, who have higher intellectual abilities and if they're going to respond, they respond fairly quickly with six to twelve months, so those kids to quite well.  The majority of kids with autism however have a life-long neuro-developmental condition.

causes of autism
types of autism
mild autism
autism symptoms
signs of autism
autism children
autism treatment
autism test
severe autism
autism diagnosis

Presenter: Dr. Robin Friedlander, Psychiatrist, Burnaby, BC

Local Practitioners: Psychiatrist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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