The National Autism Society of Malaysia: Autism is a complex developmental disorder which results in communication, sensory, social and learning disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It is also associated with rigid routines or repetitive behaviours such as obsessively following schedules or playing certain toys in a monotonous manner, or in a much specified way.
It is a spectrum disorder, variable in severity and in symptoms across individuals. There is a range of intelligence, functioning level, sensory problems, communication abilities and behaviour patterns. Autistic behaviours not only make life difficult for people with autism but also make life hard for their families, their health care providers and their teachers.
There is no known single cause for autism.
Although there is no known cure, children with autism have emerged from their autistic disabilities to function like a near-normal child. This is achieved through early intervention and rehabilitation programme, which till today, offers the best hope for children with autism. Given appropriate early intervention and education, children with autism have the chance to improve themselves.