Behavioural syndrome characterised by impairment in reciprocal social interaction, impaired communication skills, restricted range of interests and activities. Prevalence of 5-15/10 000. Incidence appear to be increasing. M 4x>F.
Symptoms: appear ‘aloof’, self absorbed and remote; do not point to objects; avoidance of eye-to-eye contact; lacks facial expressions; lacks make believe play; ‘unavailable’ emotionally; do not seek shared enjoyment; have poor language development; attention focusing problems; overly repetitive mannerisms; resistant to change; may have multiple allergies; oversensitive to light, sound and touch; outbursts and tantrums; self abusive behaviour
Controversy – MMR vaccine and autism
Toe walking is common
Could be variant of autism continuum.
Have strong interest in repetitive activities and a strong desire to avoid changes in the environment.
Difficulty in initiating and maintaining a two way conversation.
Paucity of emotional expression and facial gestures.
Often become intensely interested in unusual subjects.