Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Autistic Disorder

Developmental disorder characterized by failure to understand stimulation; features impairment of reciprocal social interaction and communication, and ritualized patterns of behaviors and interests; it affects boys 4 more than girls. Often involves some degree of mental retardation and limited verbal skills. Autistic boys have been shown to possess only half as much of the hormone oxytocin as their peers; onset from infancy to age

3. Risk in an affected sibship is 75 that of normal controls. A putative autosomal recessive factor has been nominated. Aka Autism spectral disorder.

Cf. Asperger’s syndrome.

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