Autism is a severe developmental disorder that affects the way a child sees and interacts with the rest of the world. It effects sensory, memory, motor and postural control. Social and communication skills may be compromised leading to social isolation both within the family and with other people. Many autistic children display a tendency to bolt in open spaces making going to a mall or a restaurant almost impossible. Many autistic children also experience difficulty sleeping and often suffer from insomnia.
Children with autism are often misunderstood because they process information in a different way. They deal with facts, not concepts, which can be a problem for parents and teachers. Because information is processed in a very detailed oriented way, the autistic person will sort through both major and minor stimuli, a car driving by, the smell of their clothing, or the sound of a dog barking to make a decision. Too many details can cause them to become overstimulated and confused by everyday situations.
The causes of autism are uncertain, but most experts feel it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.