Tendency to ‘freeze’ may be measurable feature of autism

People with autism have a wide range of features, from special interests and social problems to unusual sensory experiences. But some people with the condition also show a progressive slowing of gross movements, almost to the point where they’re hardly moving at all.

Is it a sign of epilepsy or some other condition? Are these people upset about something and engaging in a silent protest? Are they traumatized and in need of counseling? These are all plausible explanations and should be investigated, if only to rule them out. But another possibility is that these individuals have a condition known as catatonia.

Catatonia has long been associated with schizophrenia. But up to 18 percent of adolescents with autism also experience this insidious decline in motor ability.

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1st August 2017