Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the United States today.
We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn to think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.
Several factors may influence the development of autism, and it is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, or sleep disorders, as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, and attention issues.
Signs of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3. Some associated development delays can appear even earlier, and often, they can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with autism. (Source)
Everyone’s story is different.
The experience of Autism is not one thing. It is many things. It’s dreams, talents, relationships, victories, hurdles, and everything in between. The connection between those experiences is you.
You break the mold. No matter who you are, the person you are is infinite—and you are the only you there is.
If you have concerns about your child’s development, early intervention is important. Learning the signs, examining your child’s
developmental milestones, and getting an evaluation and treatment as early as possible can make a lifetime of difference.
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