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 Crehan would have been the first female with autism to make the crossing. Gary Curreri, sun-sentinel.com, 15 July 2021 For people like Carson Anderson, a 22-year-old with autism, Saturday was a godsend after more than a year indoors and away from friends. Cristóbal Reyes, orlandosentinel.com, 10 July 2021 The play takes place inside the brain of a young boy with autism and the cast is meant to resemble a slice of contemporary London, one of the most diverse cities in the world. Lauren Smart, Dallas News, 1 July 2021 There’s something about surfing that seems to soothe autistic children, and for 25 years, Izzy and Danielle Paskowitz have helped introduce the sport to hundreds of thousands of kids with autism in California, Hawaii and the East Coast. Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times, 28 June 2021 Proteomics is even helping diagnose autism in babies. Stephen Mcbride, Forbes, 23 June 2021 He was crushed to learn his grandson, now 3½, had been diagnosed with autism. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 June 2021 Moulton is now working as a behavior technician for children with autism. The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 May 2021 Funds raised will benefit programs for individuals with autism in multiple Central Florida counties. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, 28 Apr. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of autism

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for autism

see aut-

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Learn More About autism

Statistics for autism

Last Updated

20 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Autism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autism. Accessed 27 Jul. 2021.

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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, 27 Dec. 2004 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, November 2006 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, 14 Feb. 2008

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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