Autism Database

Autism (also known as autism spectrum disorders) is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that can affect language skills, behavior, social interactions, and the ability to learn.

Jetpulse Studios™ was created to inspire, encourage, and raise awareness about individuals living on the autism spectrum. We believe that every child is a hero who will one day change the world. Come take a look at how Jetpulse Comics™ is helping the autism community.

What is Autism?

Autism (also called autism spectrum disorder) refers to a range of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by challenges in verbal and nonverbal communication, impaired social skills, speech, and repetitive behaviors.

In most cases, signs of autism appear between the ages of 2 and 3. There are some cases where diagnosis can be made as early as 18 months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that approximately 1 in 68 children have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. It is more prevalent in boys than girls, as it affects 1 in 42 males compared to 1 in 189 females.

If you suspect developmental delays in your child, consult a doctor or therapist. 

What is Asperger's syndrome?

Asperger's syndrome is a developmental disorder characterized by impaired social skills, repetitive and rigid behaviors, as well as restricted areas of interest and activities. Typical features may include:

  • Awkward and uncoordinated motor movements.
  • Show intense interest in a specific subject.
  • Difficulty making eye contact.
  • Difficulty reading body language.
  • Rigid and abnormal adherence to routines.

Social interactions can be challenging for individuals with Asperger's syndrome. They may not know what to say or how to respond in conversations. Reading body language or facial expressions of people is also a challenge.

They may frequently talk about themselves or extensively talk about a specific topic. They may repeat a word or phrase many times. People with Asperger's syndrome tend to feel more comfortable "in their own world".

Children with Asperger's are more likely to become independent and functional adults. However, these individuals may continue to have difficulty with social interactions as life progresses. Conversations may be awkward for some individuals on the spectrum due to their challenges in reading body movements or facial expressions.

Asperger's syndrome owes its name to the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger. In 1944, he published a paper on his research on the behavioral patterns of several young individuals who exhibited normal intelligence and language development but somehow showed signs of autism.

Asperger's syndrome was added to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) in 1994. It was described as a separate condition from autism. The latest edition (DSM-V), published in 2013, created a new diagnosis. In this new category, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger's syndrome, and other developmental disorders are all related. 

Due to the change, individuals who were previously diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome were likely diagnosed again under this new umbrella of autism spectrum disorder due to these changes and revisions. 

It is highly recommended that you avoid self-diagnosis or treating your child. Asperger's syndrome, as well as other neurodevelopmental disorders and autism spectrum disorders, should be diagnosed by licensed and experienced professionals. If you suspect developmental delays in your child, consult a doctor or therapist.

"RED FLAGS" of development

Seek immediate evaluation from your child's pediatrician if:

At 6 months: no big smiles or other warm and joyful expressions

At 9 months: no sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions

At 12 months: lack of response to name

At 12 months: no babbling or "baby talk"

At 12 months: no back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving

At 16 months: no spoken words

By 24 months: no meaningful two-word phrases that don't involve imitation or repetition.

NOTE: Not all children with autism exhibit these symptoms. That is why it is very important for parents to avoid self-diagnosing their children. Diagnosing autism requires evaluation and the expertise of highly trained professionals.


  • The child does not respond to their name when called.
  • Avoids physical or eye contact.
  • Follows a rigid routine. Children with autism may become upset when their routines are disrupted.
  • Displays repetitive behaviors such as spinning, hand-flapping, or rocking.
  • Repeats words or phrases.
  • Gives unrelated responses to questions.
  • Shows difficulty understanding other people's feelings.
  • Does not use gestures to communicate (e.g., pointing to desired objects, reaching for a parent to be hugged, waving hello or goodbye).
  • Displays restricted or obsessive interests.
  • React excessively or insufficiently to sounds, visuals, smells, or tastes.

What is PDD-NOS?

Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) also underwent a name change in 2013 when the American Psychiatric Association reclassified Asperger's syndrome, autistic disorder, and PDD-NOS as autism spectrum disorders. PDD-NOS became the diagnosis for individuals who are on the autism spectrum but do not meet the criteria for autism or other PDDs. However, it is a pervasive developmental disorder where social interactions, behavior, and communication are affected.

Due to the revision in DSM-5, individuals who were previously diagnosed with PDD-NOS or Asperger's syndrome were likely diagnosed again under the new umbrella of autism spectrum disorder due to the changes and revisions in the DSM.

Typical characteristics of individuals with PDD-NOS include:

  • Challenges in social interactions.
  • Difficulty with changes in routines or environments.
  • Uneven development of skills (high in some areas and low in others).
  • Unusual play with toys and other objects.
  • Repetitive body movements or patterns of behavior.
  • It is highly recommended that you avoid self-diagnosis or treating your child. PDD-NOS, as well as other PDDs and autism spectrum disorders, should be diagnosed by experienced and licensed professionals. If you suspect developmental delays in your child, consult a doctor or therapist.

What is Autistic Disorder?

Autistic disorder (also known as classical autism or Kanner's autism) is best described as the most severe form of autism spectrum disorder. It is further along the spectrum than PDD-NOS and Asperger's syndrome. It includes the same symptoms but at a deeper level. Children with autistic disorder have noticeable difficulties with speech and communication, behavior, and social interaction. Individuals diagnosed with autistic disorder are often hypersensitive and avoid physical contact with others.

They can be extremely sensitive to touch, smells, sounds, and even sights. This can cause the child to react violently to sensory stimuli. Many people at this end of the spectrum will not attempt anything new. They are driven by routines and often exhibit extreme displeasure when their routines are disrupted. Many individuals are unable to make eye contact when speaking to others.

Children begin to display symptoms around the age of three and continue to do so as they grow older. Symptoms may include:

  • Rigid and dogmatic behavior.
  • Repetitive actions and speech.
  • Self-injury. Hitting or scratching oneself.
  • Withdrawal and avoidance of social situations. Will not make eye contact.
  • Obsessive focus on a specific interest.

What is Rett syndrome?

Rett syndrome is a genetic brain disorder that primarily affects girls. The age at which symptoms appear can vary, but they typically manifest within the first two years. Some symptoms of Rett syndrome include:

Microcephaly: A rare disorder in the nervous system that causes a child's head to not fully develop. The child's brain does not grow as it should.

Hand-movement difficulty: Most children with Rett syndrome experience regressive use of their hands. Repetitive hand movements, such as twisting or rubbing, are observed. They may also repeatedly put their hands in their mouths.

Incontinence is also a sign of Rett syndrome.

Other symptoms may include:

Loss of language skills: Between 1 to 4 years of age, social and language skills begin to decline. Children with Rett syndrome stop speaking and may have extreme social anxiety. They may become aloof or uninterested in other people, toys, and their surroundings.

Breathing difficulties: A child with Rett syndrome may experience seizures and uncoordinated breathing, including rapid breathing (hyperventilation), forced exhalation of air or saliva, and swallowing air.

Symptoms of Rett syndrome typically do not improve over time. It is a lifelong condition. Symptoms often worsen very slowly or do not change. It is rare for individuals with Rett syndrome to be able to live independently.

A Special Message From Our Friends At AllConnect

Individuals on the autism spectrum may face many challenges with social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, or repetitive behaviors. That's why many find comfort in using the Internet as a means of social communication and access to information. However, studies show that those with ASD are more susceptible to threats such as cyberbullying, scams, and internet addiction.

Our guide includes:

  • Helpful information about the risks associated with internet use and ASD
  • Detailed infographic with internet safety tips
  • Online safety resources for families

Click here to read the online safety guide.