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Autism Spectrum Disorder by MedLine Plus
Also Called PDD: Pervasive Developmental Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person's life. It affects how a person acts and interacts with others, communicates, and learns. It is called a "spectrum" disorder because people with ASD can have a range of symptoms, such as having problems talking with you, or they might not look you in the eye when you talk to them. They may also have restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. They may spend a lot of time putting things in order, or say the same sentence again and again. They often seem to be in their "own world."
The causes of ASD are not known. Research suggests that both genes and environment play important roles. Possible treatments include behavior and communication therapies, skills training, and medicines to control symptoms.
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