This page contains information about other conditions and syndromes – comorbidities – which commonly occur in people with autism.
The fact that someone has a form of autism does not mean they will invariably have any of these conditions. It’s just more likely.
Please see also List of issues. This is a list of some of the most common issues faced by people with autism, including some of the most common problems.
Normally used to describe children who have three main kinds of problems:
Collection of conditions in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues, identifying them as foreign substances.
Marked motor abnormalities including catalepsy, stupor, apparently purposeless agitation not influenced by external stimuli, apparent motiveless resistance to instructions or attempts to be moved, mutism, stereotyped movements, echolia and echopraxia.
Any of a group of inherited diseases characterized by progressive spastic paralysis, blindness, convulsions and learning disabilities. Caused by abnormal phospholipid metabolism.
A rare condition which includes characteristic physical features and developmental abnormalities. Children with CdLS are small and most have abnormalities of the arm. They are also more likely to have a learning disability and to have seizures.
Also known as cat cry syndrome or Lejeune syndrome.
A rare condition which includes characteristic physical features and developmental abnormalities. Children with Cri du Chat syndrome are small, and often have malformed ears, with partial fusing of fingers or toes. They frequently have motor problems and learning disabilities. Younger children make characteristic high-pitched mewing cries like a cat although this usually disappears over time.
Inflammatory condition affecting the digestive tract which can occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus, but it usually occurs in the small or large intestine and inflammation extends throughout the whole thickness of the intestinal wall.
Used when the person has a combination of these problems. The perceptual problem may, for example, be dyslexia.
Abnormal movements of the muscles resulting from a disorder of the brain. Movements are uncoordinated and involuntary and occur in facial as well as limb muscles.
Significant difficulty with or impairment in reading ability, when reading is compared with other aspects of psychological functioning.
Impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement with associated problems of language, perception and thought. People with dyspraxia may appear clumsy.
Encephalitis is inflammation (swelling) of the brain tissue. It is caused either by infection, usually viral, or by an autoimmune disease. If it is severe it can cause brain damage.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder involving recurrent seizures. Seizures are sudden changes in behaviour due to an excessive electrical activity in the brain.
Inherited condition in which a a defect in one gene on the X Chromosome may cause a learning disability. It is named after the “fragile” site on the X-chromosome.
Excessive motor activity, voluntary or otherwise.
Abnormally acute sense of hearing.
Abnormal immunological reaction produced in certain individuals when re-exposed to antigens that are innocuous to other individuals.
These are chronic inflammatory diseases that may occur in any part of the gut.
Permanent condition, arising during childhood or adolescence, characterised by a state of incomplete development of mind that includes significant impairments of intelligence and social functioning.
Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (LNS) is a rare, inherited disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzyme hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT). It causes hyperuricaemia (high serum levels of uric acid). People with this syndrome are prone to have uric acid kidney stones and learning disabilities.
Neural migration disorder in which the convolutions of the cerebral cortex are either completely absent or reduced in number, giving the brain surface a smooth appearance. Problems include developmental delay, microcephaly and seizures.
Rare birth defect caused by the absence or underdevelopment of the cranial nerves, which control eye movements and facial expression.
Group of disorders characterized by progressive muscle weakness and loss of muscle tissue. More common in people with autism.
Study of the criteria for this condition shows that it covers people with the social behaviour pattern of Asperger syndrome, who also have problems with the non-verbal skills of arithmetic and some visuo-spatial skills.
This is a hypothesis that when some children are exposed to the common group-A beta-haemolytic streptococcal bacteria, which occur in the throat, they develop antibodies which attack the basal ganglia in the brain as well as those bacteria.
Condition in which individuals resist and avoid the ordinary demands of life, using skilful strategies which are socially manipulative (distracting adults, using excuses, appearing to become physically incapacitated).
Rare hereditary condition in which the amino acid phenylalanine is not properly metabolized. PKU can cause severe learning disabilities if not treated.
A complex neurological disorder which is genetic in origin. It affects mainly girls, and only a very few boys. Although present at birth, it becomes more evident during the second year.
Maternal rubella infection in the first eight to ten weeks of pregnancy results in foetal damage in up to 90% of infants. Multiple defects, which may include autistic traits, are common and are collectively known as Congenital Rubella Syndrome.
Good grammatical language but lack of ability to use language in a socially appropriate manner.
A genetic disorder where common characteristics include some degree of self-injury, sleep disturbance, developmental delay, short stature, decreased sensitivity to pain, hyperactivity and destructive or aggressive behaviour.
Condition characterised by multiple tics characteristically involving the face and head (twitches, blinking, nodding) as well as vocal tics.
Rare genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow on vital organs. It commonly affects the central nervous system.
Rare chromosomal condition affecting girls where the second X chromosome is absent or abnormal. Turner’s syndrome is generally characterised by short stature and non-functioning ovaries, usually leading to absence of pubertal development and infertility.
Condition usually commencing between 3 and 8 months of age characterised by infantile spasms and often associated with a change in behaviour and a slowing of development of the child.
Rare disorder caused by an abnormality in chromosomes. It shows a wide variation in ability from person to person. It can cause learning disabilities.
Last Updated : 20/08/2012 Back to Top