Autism is a bio-neurological disorder present from early childhood. It is a pervasive developmental disorder. The latest statistics released from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimate as many as 1 in 88 children are affected by Autism. The rate is significantly higher for boys affecting 1 in 54. A child with Autism has atypical brain development. All children with Autism are capable of learning and have the same needs as typical children. They just experience and make sense of the world in a different way.
Symptoms characteristic of Autism include difficulty with communication, social relationships, abstract thinking, repetitive behaviors, hyper-focused interests, rigidity, difficulties with transitions, sensory issues and lack of eye contact. Severity can range from mild to severe. While there are traits that affected individuals have in common, each is unique and has varying areas of strengths and challenges. While there is no cure for Autism, it can be treated behaviorally and medically. Early diagnosis and intervention can have a significant impact on development.
Learn the signs- If you suspect your child may have Autism consult your doctor and seek a referral for a professional evaluation. Below are a sample of helpful websites with information, statistics and resources.