Synonyms in the broadest sense

English: autism

  • Infantile autism
  • Childhood autism
  • Asperger’s autism
  • Autistic people
  • Autism in children


The term autism usually refers to a state of isolation or segregation from the outside world in both adults and children. The affected persons live in their own world of thoughts and imagination. Access from the outside is difficult.

In children, a distinction must be made between early childhood and infantile autism. They differ from each other essentially by the age of the child. Early childhood autism is a contact disorder that already exists in infancy.

The mentally disturbed behaviour is already developed before the age of three. Infantile autism occurs more often in boys of school or adolescent age. This so-called Asperger autism usually does not become noticeable until the age of 4. Overall, the symptoms are less pronounced. How to recognise behavioural disorders in babies


Of about 10000 children 4 suffer from early childhood autism and a little more from Asperger autism. Boys are more often affected than girls. Whether autism is associated with other mental illnesses is not proven until today.

Autism spectrum disorders

Autism spectrum disorders include several disease patterns of autism and belong to the developmental disorders. The main characteristics include a reduced interest in social relationships and conspicuous or reduced speech development. In addition, there may also be limitations in movement.

Often a special interest in unusual things and hobbies is noticeable. Autism spectrum disorder includes all forms of autism and one does not have to be the same as the other. Because they differ in their symptoms and how strong or weak they are.

This means that a patient with autism may not be conspicuous at all because of his or her illness, because the symptoms are not very pronounced and a normal life is possible. One of the different forms of autism is early childhood autism or Kanner syndrome. This affects young children before the age of 3 and is also described as “classic autism”.

Another form is the Asperger Syndrome. It is more likely to affect children from the age of 4. The Asperger Syndrome is mainly associated with an increased IQ and the island gift.

The Asperger syndrome belongs to the autism spectrum disorders and is different from the other autism syndromes. In society, Asperger’s Syndrome is often associated with exceptionally gifted people. This is a peculiarity of this syndrome and can occur in some patients with Asperger’s syndrome.

However, this is not always the case. More boys than girls are affected by Asperger’s syndrome. In most cases the disease appears from the age of 4 years.

One of the main features of Asperger’s syndrome is the impaired ability to social interaction. Patients often have no interest in interpersonal relationships, find it difficult to put themselves in other roles and understand the feelings of others. It seems as if the patients have no emotional interest.

Patients with Asperger’s syndrome often have a demanding language that is often developed over age. However, they have difficulty recognising humour or seriousness in the language. Furthermore, Asperger’s patients often have conspicuous motor skills.

They are less agile and clumsy in some movements. Some children have an above-average intelligence quotient and are interested in special things and hobbies which they master very well. This is also called island talent.

Children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome have an increased risk of suffering from mental illness. These include obsessive-compulsive and anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD, tic disorders and schizophrenia. In the development of autism, not all secrets have yet been revealed.

Various factors are taken into consideration:

  • Genetic factors..:

Early childhood autism manifests itself in infancy through lack of contact. The infants lack any kind of reaction to attention from their environment. They are therefore unable to enter into social relationships.

Linguistic as well as non-linguistic communication problems are in the foreground in this form of autism. Most of the time the children have a distant gaze (“staring holes in the air”). Eye contact is almost completely absent and the gestures are not understood by the affected children.

The social contact suffers considerably, as they do not like physical contact and try to avoid it. Although the children understand the language of their parents, they show a speech disorder and language development delay. A special feature here is the so-called echolalia, i.e. words or sentences are simply repeated and thus presented as an answer (example: question: “Are you coming?”

answer: “Are you coming?”) Even compulsive playing habits, especially if they are misused, or an excessive attachment to individual objects (favourite toys) can be an indication of the presence of autism. Repeated actions are also typical.

Childhood autism, which occurs primarily in boys of school age, is manifested by a lack of relationships. The children make few or no friends at school and seem introverted. However, most of these children are highly gifted.

Often, special skills are found in the area of talent, such as playing the piano. This form of autism is also called Asperger’s autism. The children are usually also motorically clumsy and appear “clumsy”.

Both forms of autism show certain patterns in thinking and behaviour. Thinking, for example, is guided by the emotions and contradicts reality, which is ignored by those affected. The children often take refuge in fantasies.

Autistic children all have difficulties in adapting and making friends. Their character is reserved, lacking in contact and cool. Autistic children have difficulty or no difficulty understanding and showing feelings.

For example, they do not know what a sad or happy expression is. They also do not know what a real danger is. For example, they simply run onto the street without being aware of the danger of passing cars.

They react very sensitively to any change in their familiar surroundings. In addition, it has been observed that many autistic children often tiptoe around autism due to balance problems. The signs of autism can be many and varied.

This often makes a definite diagnosis very difficult and is sometimes made years later. If the symptoms are only mild and the patient is socially well integrated, it is even possible that the autism disorder is not noticed at all or only at an adult age. However, there are some signs that are characteristic for autism and are listed and explained below.

All people with autism often share the same characteristics, but they differ in the severity and distribution of symptoms. The first thing parents notice is that the child behaves differently from other children of that age. The main characteristics of autism relate mainly to language development, interpersonal behaviour, intelligence and interests.

Often autism is accompanied by a reduction in intelligence. However, this can be imperceptibly little, but it can also mean a mental disability. However, there are also autistic patients with high giftedness.

Children often show delayed speech development or loss of abilities. A common characteristic is also low interest in social interactions. Parents notice that the child does not make eye contact and does not want to cuddle.

Patients with autism often have an interest in specific things. Children then notice that they are only interested in one particular feature of the toy. They also play less with other children of the same age.

Sometimes patients also stand out because of unusual ways of thinking and problem solving and may have unusual movements. If the child has a sign, it does not necessarily mean that he or she has autism. There may be other reasons for the symptoms and should be clarified by a doctor. In the case of an autistic disorder there are usually several symptoms.