Catatonia is a complex disorder covering a range of abnormalities of posture, movement, speech and behaviour associated with over- as well as under-activity.
In individuals with autism, catatonia is shown by the onset of any of the following features:
- increased slowness affecting movements and/or verbal responses;
- difficulty in initiating completing and inhibiting actions;
- increased reliance on physical or verbal prompting by others;
- increased passivity and apparent lack of motivation.
- other manifestations and associated behaviours include Parkinsonian features including 'freezing', excitement and agitation, and a marked increase in repetitive and ritualistic behaviour.