n. 1. a behavioral syndrome of neurological dysfunction characterized by impaired reciprocal social interactions, impaired verbal and nonverbal communication, impoverished or diminished imaginative activity, stereotypic movements, and a markedly restricted repertoire of activities and interests relative to age. In DSM-IV-TR, the disorder becomes evident by the age of 3 is designated autistic disorder when diagnosed, and is categorized as a pervasive developmental disorder. 2. may refer to abnormal introversion and egocentricity. This is one of the primary signs of schizophrenia, as described by Swiss psychiatrist Bleuler (1857-1939). See also fundamental principles.
AUTISM: "A person with autism exhibits social and cognitive deficits that are apparent by the age of 3. "