One of the most puzzling types of abnormal development, which manifests itself soon after birth, is infantile autism. This condition, first described by Kanner (1943) and to which Rimland (1964), Wing (1966), and Coleman (1976), among others, have devoted entire books, is characterized by the following symptoms: lack of eye contact with other persons, absence of social development, and a noticeable “noncud-dling,” rigid body position when being held. In addition, there is an obvious failure to develop appropriate language (with deficiencies of communicative speech being the most striking example of this language deficiency) and an insistence on sameness in the environment that is most often exhibited by ritualistic, repetitive, and compulsive behaviors. Age of onset is usually before 30 months of age, and very probably the condition is present at birth (Ornitz & Ritvo, 1976).
KeywordsTwin Pair Autistic Child Learning Disor Autistic Individual Infantile Autism
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