Autistic disorders follow a continuous course throughout life. Autistic individuals with higher levels of intelligence may become able to work and live independently or, more frequently, semi-independently. This is especially true for those with IQ scores of 70 or higher. One in six children with autism becomes a well-adjusted adult. Another one out of six achieves a fair degree of adjustment in adult life. Others may never be able to leave the structured environment of home or, later, special group home placement. During adolescence, sexual feelings emerge that cannot usually be handled appropriately by the autistic teen. Supervision throughout life is needed for the majority of individuals diagnosed with these disorders.
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Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.