autism

noun
au·​tism | \ ˈȯ-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce autism (audio) \

Definition of autism

: a variable developmental disorder that appears by age three and is characterized especially by difficulties in forming and maintaining social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate verbally or nonverbally, and by repetitive behavior patterns and restricted interests and activities … the chief diagnostic signs of autism are social isolation, lack of eye contact, poor language capacity and absence of empathy …— Vilayanur S. Ramachandran et al.

called also autistic disorder

— see autism spectrum disorder

Examples of autism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When down-on-his-luck former boy-band member Vince (Ed Skrein) meets Stevie (Leo Long), a young drummer with autism, the pair form a two-person band. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2022 The sense of vulnerability that comes with having a kid with autism has been a gift to me. Anna Myers, Peoplemag, 23 Sep. 2022 The Good Housekeeping Institute provides expert reviews and advice on everything a parent needs, including toys for children with autism. Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 19 Sep. 2022 Grace Poer, 47, an administrative assistant from Riverview, Florida, just south of Tampa, said her 24-year-old daughter with autism has always loved Mustangs. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 17 Sep. 2022 Gunderman and Pascale told police that the boy was diagnosed with autism, and doctors told them to keep the boy by himself for long periods of time to keep him from harming himself or others, records say. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 12 Sep. 2022 Macrae said Emma Linek was clinically diagnosed with autism. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 11 Sep. 2022 In a 2017 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that over 2% of US adults were living with autism. Toyin Owoseje, CNN, 7 Sep. 2022 Mason has an inoperable tumor growing in nerves on the left side of his face, Mr. Konsitzke said, and has been diagnosed with autism. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, 6 Sep. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'autism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of autism

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for autism

see aut-

Learn More About autism

Dictionary Entries Near autism

authorship

autism

autism spectrum disorder

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Statistics for autism

Last Updated

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Autism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autism. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for autism

autism

noun
au·​tism | \ ˈȯ-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce autism (audio) \

Kids Definition of autism

: a condition that is characterized especially by problems in interacting and communicating with other people and by doing certain actions (as saying a word or rocking the body) over and over again

autism

noun
au·​tism | \ ˈȯ-ˌtiz-əm How to pronounce autism (audio) \

Medical Definition of autism

: a developmental disorder that appears by age three and that is variable in expression but is recognized and diagnosed by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns especially as exhibited by a preoccupation with repetitive activities of restricted focus rather than with flexible and imaginative ones But more than 60 years after it was first identified, autism remains mystifying and stubbornly difficult to treat. About the only thing parents, doctors and policy makers agree on is that the best chance for autistic children to develop social and language skills is to enroll them in some type of intensive behavioral therapy.— Benedict Carey, The New York Times Although the chief diagnostic signs of autism are social isolation, lack of eye contact, poor language capacity and absence of empathy, other less well known symptoms are commonly evident. Many people with autism have problems understanding metaphors, sometimes interpreting them literally. They also have difficulty miming other people's actions.— Vilayanur S. Ramachandran et al., Scientific American In approximately 10% of patients, autism can be explained by genetic syndromes and known chromosomal anomalies …— Lauren A Weiss et al., The New England Journal of Medicine

called also autistic disorder

— see autism spectrum disorder

More from Merriam-Webster on autism

Nglish: Translation of autism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about autism

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