Autism Awareness

What is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). Although ASD varies significantly in character and severity, it occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affects every age group. About 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Males are five times more likely to have an ASD than females.

What are some common signs of autism?

  • The hallmark feature of ASD is impaired social interaction.
  • Fail to respond to their names and may avoid eye contact with other people.
  • They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues.
  • Engage in unusual, repetitive movements such as hand flapping, rocking and twirling, or in self-injurious behavior such as biting or head-banging.
  • Delayed speech, loss of speech
  • No back and forth gestures such as pointing or waving by 12 months
  • Children with an ASD don’t know how to play interactively with other children.