Autism is a developmental disorder that often results in limited social skills, difficulties maintaining eye contact, extreme sensitivity to sounds and touch, repetitive language or behaviors such as particular phrases or the stacking of objects, and dislike of changes in daily routine, according to the CDC. Symptoms sometimes include sensitivity to food texture.Continue Reading
Autism is sometimes placed on a continuum of autism spectrum disorders, reports the CDC. People diagnosed with autism naturally fall on a continuum of severity, with more highly functioning individuals having less severe autism, while lower functioning individuals may even be rendered nonverbal and incapable of normal communication. On the higher functioning end of autism, there are individuals who share many of the same symptoms of low-functioning autism but still maintain their verbal proficiencies and show little or no delay in linguistic development as children. These people are sometimes diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders but not specifically autism. Examples include high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome.
More recently, people diagnosed with HFA or Asperger's syndrome have been attempting to alleviate the stigma of autism, explaining that they do not believe they have a disorder but rather simply developed differently. A major proponent for this view and leader in the autism rights movement is Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University. She professes the importance of utilizing a variety of different mindsets and the advantages of high-functioning autistic individuals' proclivity for obsession and analytical ability.Learn more about Conditions & Diseases