Autism is a developmental disability that impacts the development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.
Autism is a spectrum disorder – individuals with autism can exhibit any combination of "autistic traits" in any degree of severity.
The latest CDC statistics indicate that one in 110 children will be diagnosed with autism, with the rate among boys at one in 70.
Autism affects all races, ethnicities, household incomes, lifestyles and levels of education.
Children do not "outgrow" autism, but symptoms may lessen as they develop and receive treatment. Starting early intervention as soon as possible is essential.
Some possible signs of autism include (individuals may exhibit any combination of these behaviors in any degree of severity):
* Difficulty communicating, both verbally and non-verbally
* Difficulty making and maintaining eye contact
* Short attention span
* Limited social skills
* Insistence on specific routines
* Repetitive behaviors, such as obsessively repeating words or body movements, or arranging objects in a very specific way
* Limited joint attention (not looking where you point, or not bringing you things to show you)
* Lack of response to name
* Unusual prosody (little variation in pitch, odd intonation, irregular rhythm,
unusual voice quality)
* Repeating words or phrases in place of typical, responsive language
* Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain
* No real fears of danger
* Noticeable physical over-activity or extreme under-activity
* Uneven gross/fine motor skills
* Non-responsive to verbal cues; acts as if deaf, although hearing tests in normal range
To learn more, visit the Autism Society of America