Autism is an enigmatic brain disorder that profoundly affects children's communication and social skills. It is also a spectrum disorder, which means it can occur in a variety of forms and intensity. Recent years have marked a startling rise in the number of children diagnosed as autistic. Yet much remains unknown about autism, and controversy surrounds everything from defining the disease to diagnosing it to treating it, with theories about its cause ranging from vaccines to faulty genes to maternal personality. ""The A to Z of Autism Spectrum Disorders"" provides a much-needed, user-friendly reference guide to this disease. Approximately 500 entries address the types of autism, causes and treatments, institutions, associations, leading scientists and research, social impact, and much more. The book tackles a complex and daunting subject in clear language suitable for the general reader. Appendixes include major relevant organizations, sources for further reading and research, a glossary, and a bibliography. The entries include: Atypical autism; Asperger's Syndrome; Causes of autism; Developmental disability; Early intervention program; Genes and autism; High-functioning autistic; Individualized education program; Language delay; Mainstreaming; Nonfluent aphasia; Patterning; Safety issues; Tactile defensiveness; and, Vitamins and autism.