Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person's life.
It affects how a person acts and interacts with others, communicates, and learns.
It is called a "spectrum" disorder because people with ASD can have a range of symptoms, and reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths.
It refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with:
Speech and nonverbal communication
The causes of ASD are not known. Research suggests that both genes and environment play important roles.
Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
Autism’s most common signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months.
It is very important to seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes in treatment.
Early recognition, as well as behavioral, educational, and family therapies may reduce symptoms and support development and learning.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Family Therapy, Occupational therapy, Sensory processing, Speech therapy and Skill training (between others) are very effective treatments to increase an autism person’s ability to grow and develop all the potential.
Sources: autismspeaks.org, medlineplus.gov
San Diego, California