A number of other disorders may include characteristics of autism. In fragile X syndrome, which results from a defective X chromosome, people may show poor eye contact, limited speech, hand flapping, and hyperactivity. People with Asperger’s disorder may show some symptoms of autism such as difficulties in social interactions, poor eye contact, repetitive body movements, and an insistence on routines and rituals. However, they have normal language development and do not have mental retardation. Rett’s disorder involves repetitive hand movements, social withdrawal, and impaired language development. The disorder appears before the age of four and affects only girls. Some experts regard these disorders as mild forms of autism rather than as separate disorders.

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Michael Woods

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