AutismAustism. The textbook definition is “A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and using language and abstract concepts.” Autism is very common throughout the United States. There are more than 200,000 cases per year. There is no cure for Autism, however there is treatment available to help. Because of the lack of treatment, Autism can last for years or be lifelong.Autism may sometimes be hard to diagnose due to symptoms sometimes being subtle. However, early indicators of Autism include no babling or pointing by the age of 1, no single words or phrases by the age of 2, no response to their name, no eye contact, and no smiling or social contact. Later indicators include impaired ability to make friends, absence of play, repetitive or unusual use of language, preoccupation with certain objects or subjects, and lack of recognizing specific routines or rituals. Autism affects people by attacking the nervous system, causing difficulty with communication, social interaction, and repetitive behaviors. While symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the disorder, patients who have Autism have commonly reported symptoms such as failing to respond to their names, avoiding eye contact with others, and only interacting with others to achieve specific goals. They often don’t understand how to play, find it hard to understand and express feelings, etc. People with Autism typically find it difficult to determine appropriate things to say or have nothing to say at all. They may repeat phrases and give unrelated answers to questions. This is only one of many repetitive and characteristic behaviors that Autistic patients display. Autistic people engage in many unusual behaviors. Some of these include flapping their arms, rocking from side to side, twirling, repeating familiar sounds (i.e. trucks, airplanes, and trains), becoming very angry and having multiple emotional outbursts in new environments, etc. People with Autism thrive by maintaining a daily routine, however, this may be very challenging due to weakened minds.