Explainer: What is autism?

Some people have a mild form, others a type that makes it hard to talk or interact with others

By Bryn Nelson, 17:36 PM April 2, 2014

Autism refers to a group of closely related disorders that affect how the brain develops. Experts use one blanket term —“autism spectrum disorders” —to refer to the whole group.


Autism isn’t a disease that can be passed from one person to another. Nor do the vaccines commonly given in childhood cause autism, scientists say. The disorder appears to be due, at least in part, to the genes we inherit from our parents. However, scientists say genes alone can’t explain why some kids get autism and ...

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