自闭症是什么?自闭症是自闭症谱系障碍的简称。自闭症新西兰公司(Autism New Zealand Inc.， 2005)给出了如下定义:“自闭症谱系障碍是一种影响社交和沟通技能的终生发育障碍。新墨西哥公共教育部(2004)将其定义为“以3岁前发病为特征的神经行为综合征”。特征包括与他人互动的严重差异，沟通障碍，以及兴趣和行为的受限和刻板模式。”(p.8)。由于不同的严重程度和表现,自闭症是用来描述所有自闭症的诊断共享共同特征,包括阿斯伯格综合症(难以理解非语言信号,但可能与正常语言发展和认知发展)在长白云之乡,100年1人有自闭症,包括阿斯伯格综合症。估计有4万人。男孩患自闭症的可能性是女孩的4倍(autism New Zealand Inc.， 2005)。在美国和英国进行的大规模调查显示，每1000名儿童中有4.5名患有自闭症。最近估计甚至上升到高达¼%½%的人口。根据流行病学调查，全球自闭症患者的最新数据是每150名儿童中有1名自闭症患者，每83名男孩中有1名自闭症患者.
What is autism? Autism is short for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Autism New Zealand Inc. (2005) gives the following definition: “An Autism Spectrum Disorders is a life-long developmental disability affecting social and communication skills.” It is defined by New Mexico Public Education Department (2004) as “a neurobehavioral syndrome characterized by onset prior to age 3. Characteristics include severe differences in interaction with other people, communication deficits, as well as restricted and stereotyped patterns of interest and behaviours.” (p.8). Due to the different severity and manifestation, autism is used to describe all the diagnosis sharing the common characteristics of autism, including Asperger syndrome (difficulty in understanding non-verbal signal but might with normal language development and cognitive development) In Aotearoa, 1 person in 100 has autism, including Asperger syndrome. That is an estimation population of 40,000 people. Boys are more likely to have autism 4 times than girls (Autism New Zealand Inc., 2005). Large-scale survey conducted in United States and England suggests autism affect 4.5 out of 1,000 children. Recent estimation even goes up to as high as ¼% to ½% of the population. According to epidemiological survey, the latest figure for people with autism worldwide is 1 in every 150 children and 1 in every 83 boys