Autism is a condition characterized by difficulties with social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors or narrow, obsessive interests that usually become apparent before a child is three years old. Autism spectrum or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has three primary forms:
- Classic autism
- Asperger syndrome
- Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
It is now estimated that the prevalence of autism in the United States has risen to 1 in every 88 births and almost 1 in 54 boys. The cause of autism is extremely controversial. It does have a strong genetic component, but like most health conditions dietary and environmental factors play a huge role in whether the genetic predisposition will manifest and to what severity.
For more information, go to Autism Speaks – the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. For natural approaches to autism, please consult the 3rd Edition of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine.