Autism is a complex "difference" (most often called a "disorder") of neural functions often presented by impaired social interaction, cognitive and language delays, restricted and repetitive behavior, and regressive behavior. Autism is categorized as one of three Pervasive Developmental Disorders within the autism spectrum, which also includes Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified or Asperger's Syndrome.
Autism is believed to be caused by a combination of factors including mitochondrial dysfunction between the brain and nerve cells and biological influence. There is no cure or standard treatment for autism. Many believe eliminating food and environmental allergens, detecting and eliminating toxins (like mercury and lead), replenishing nutrient stores, and taking measures to lower inflammation of the central nervous system improves mitochondrial function and effectively treats autism. Behavioral therapy and cognitive intervention are also recommended courses of treatment.
Autism usually presents in children ages three years or younger. Autism affects one out of 110 children and is more likely to affect boys.