What sort of problem is autism?

Defective love. Autistic individuals cannot properly relate to other humans and live in emotional isolation. Parents of autistic children a very frustrated as their normal love for their child cannot be returned. Some have low academic ability but a subgroup, aspberger's, may have a very high capacity in certain areas like math or music. It seems to be a brain wiring disorder of unknown cause.
Social impairment. Early signs include not talking well (but some with autism can have advanced verbal skills), not pointing, and repetitive behaviors. Other signs in toddlers are poor eye contact, solitary play, unusual hand movements and narrow range of interests. M-chat is a good screening tool. Pediatrician or child psychologist can diagnose autism. Impaired social interaction and communication are hallmarks.
Autism Spectrum. Autism is developmental disorder of the brain that affects socialization and communication. This general term, autism, has been broadened to in include other developmental problems that are now called autism spectrum disorder.

Related Questions

What sort of problem is an autism spectrum disorder?

Autism. Autism is in news lately. It is a dysfunction of the ability of a person to relate to others. It is sometimes associated with slow learning but a less common form (asperger's) has a high rate of focused talent. The cause is unknown but seems to be a 'wiring" disorder of the brain. It is not related to vaccine use. This is a very frustrating illness for parents who want to have love returned.
Common. Pdd occurs in about 1% of the population. It occurs more in males, is definitely genetic, & may be associated with many environmental toxins (but not vaccinations). There is a remarkable amount of research going on in this field. The american academy of pediatircs has guidelines for the early identification & treatment of pdd kids. This approach has resulted inimprovements in pdd patients.
Autism part 2. Most autistic kids see material things rather than linguistic or interpersonal things. They see the world as a material, not verbal, environment. Treatment is directed trying to turn this around by early intervention. See nimh website on autism disorders. See your pediatrician for further intervention. See my health guides for more information.
Biologic disorder. What is now being called ASD is a cluster of disorders that have in common major disruption typically from a very early age in the development of social interactions, communication, and behaviors. The cause (s) remain unknown. The core feature is a markedly diminised to absent ability to socially connect with others. Language is absent or odd, as are some behaviors.