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What is autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by impaired development in communication, social interaction, and behavior. Statistics about autism include that it afflicts one out of every 88 children, a 78% increase in the past 10 years. It affects the lives of many children and their families. It tends to affect about five boys to every one girl. Certain areas have been found to have clusters of autism, in that those regions have significantly more people with autism than average. Some such clusters were found in California from 1993 to 2001.
In the past, autism has been confused with childhood schizophrenia or childhood psychosis, and may have been misunderstood as schizotypal personality disorder in some adults. As additional research information about autism becomes available, the scope and definition of the condition continues to become more refined. Some of the past confusion about the disorder has been resolved.