Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests
itself in markedly abnormal social interaction, communication ability,
patterns of interests, and patterns of behavior. Although the specific
etiology of autism is unknown, genetic factors appear to be important.
By definition, autism must manifest delays in "social interaction,
language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative
play," with "onset prior to age 3 years." (DSM-IV) There have been
large increases in the reported incidence of autism, for reasons that
are heavily debated in the scientific community. There are cases of
autistic children who have improved their social and other skills to
the point where they can fully participate in mainstream education and
social events, but there are lingering concerns that an absolute cure
from autism is impossible with current technology since it involves
aspects of neurological brain structure determined very early in
development. However, some autistic children and adults who are able
to communicate at a functional level are opposed to attempts to cure
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum,
and Stabiae with volcanic ash.
The Visigoths under Alaric I sacked Rome.
St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre: a massacre of Huguenots began. An
estimated 70,000 people were killed in France in the following weeks.
The Treaty of Córdoba was signed, ratifiying the Plan de Iguala and
concluding the Mexican War of Independence from Spain.
Hurricane Andrew, the costliest natural disaster to ever strike the
United States, made landfall in South Florida as a Category Five
Wikiquote of the day:
I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject.
-- William Wallace