Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder. This means that the development of the brain and wider nervous system in people with autism differs from typical neurodevelopment.
“I am not 'autistic'. I am first, foremost and always a person, a child; and then an adult, and I have autism. Do not confuse me with my condition. And please do not use the term in a negative or inconsiderate way. I deserve to be respected.”
(Autism Spectrum Disorders: Ten tips to support me. Joaquin Fuentes, MD)