Autism: definition, neurobiology, screening, diagnosis

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2008 Oct;55(5):1129-46, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2008.07.005.


Autism (ie, the autism spectrum disorders) is now recognized in 1 in 150 children. This article highlights the definition, neurobiology, screening, and diagnosis of autism. The genetics, immunology, imaging, and neurophysiology of autism are reviewed, with particular emphasis on areas that impact pediatricians. Early recognition of the social deficits that characterize autism is key to maximizing the potential of these children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Autistic Disorder / etiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Infant