Autism is a developmental condition that manifests during early childhood. Individuals with autism often have issues with communication skills, social interactions, and more. Currently, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a broad term used for a group of conditions including those that have been called Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder, and Rett syndrome.
It is important to know that the terms “autism,” “autistic disorder,” and “ASD” are often used interchangeably. It is important to recognize autism early as early recognition leads to early management, which improves the prognosis of the patient.
The symptoms of autism are often due to changes in maturation in the brain. Although the mechanism is unclear, studies have found that there are abnormalities in the frontal lobe, temporal lobes, and cerebellum. The hippocampus and amygdala are also enlarged during childhood. These studies have suggested that there may be differences in not only anatomy but also connectivity among people with autism. A review in 2015 proposed that factors such as food metabolites, gastrointestinal inflammation, alteration of gut flora, and autonomic nervous system malfunction to cause inflammation and dysfunction of the brain. There is strong evidence that autism begins very early during development.