1. Description:
Autistic disorder is categorized as a Pervasive developmental disorder, according to the DSM –IV TR; it is usually diagnosed in the toddler and/or early childhood years. According to Ben J. Atchison (2007), Autism falls in the Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) umbrella, alongside other developmental disorders such as Rett’s disorder, Asperger’s disorder and etc, each varying in the degrees of their severity. Autistic disorder is marked by detachment and impairment in social, communication and behavioral skills and development.
Autism is usually detected by the age of three; however Atchison (2007) notes “characteristics of autism noticeably emerge between 12 to 36 months of age” when specific developmental mile stones are not reached or regression occurs. Regression involves the typical development of an infant/child followed by degeneration and loss of skills.   Diagnosis can occur later in children for those who are labeled at a higher functioning form of autism.   Autism is characterized by challenges and delays in language, social and behavioral development. Autistic children display impediments in verbal and nonverbal communication and interaction; according to Atchison (2007) “approximately half of children with autistic disorder remain nonverbal or struggle with severely impaired speech as adults.” Other core characteristics include difficulty with social interactions, lack or limited use of eye contact, and understanding and interpreting social gestures, facial expressions, etc. Overall an Autistic child displays atypical developmental skills that lag behind typical developmental highlight. Other common characteristics include indulgence in severe repetitive self stimulating movements and behaviors, severe sensory distortion, limited or repetitive play routines, absent and/or limited pretend/imaginative play skills, and preference for playing alone. In general autism involves an intense inter directedness and lack of ability to...