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A neurodevelopmental condition characterized by impaired social skills and restricted interests or repetitive behavior. Symptoms usually begin in early childhood.

Although most people with autism spectrum disorder (people "on the spectrum") are functionally impaired, some thrive occupationally or academically, especially people with Asperger's syndrome, who have no delays in language development and/or IQ.

A common misconception is that people on the spectrum lack empathy, the affective part of empathy seems to be unimpaired compared to people without the condition. This means that people on the spectrum often have the capacity for compassion and morality.

Complications include bullying, unemployment (prevalence of about 90%), suicide and self-harm.

Treatment is limited and the efficacy of specific interventions has been disputed.

The heritability of the condition is about 90%. Specific environmental risk factors known to contribute to the condition include autoimmunity. Disproven environmental factors include vaccines.

Although the condition causes significant suffering for many, some have disputed the characterization as a disorder altogether, especially because the restricted interests commonly seen in the condition can include occupationally or socially useful subjects like math or physics. People on the spectrum often hyperfocus on their area of interest.

Several historical figures like Einstein are claimed to have been on the spectrum, these claims are unproven.
Autism spectrum disorder has a prevalence of about 1%.
by category December 22, 2020
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