Autism is characterised as having trouble with communication and social interaction. It is seen as a developmental disorder.
Signs of autism usually become noticeable in the child in the first two or three years. Autism is characterised by social-interaction difficulties and communication difficulties. The child may also have a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviours.
A child with autism might not make eye contact when smiled at or being fed. They may not respond when their name is called. They may not use gestures to communicate such as pointing or waving goodbye. They may over react or under react to any of their five senses ; touch, taste, sight, smell or hearing.
Scientists believe that autism may be caused by faulty genes when other factors come into the equation such as chemical imbalances, viruses or lack of oxygen during birth.