Understanding Autism

• Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of 3.

• Autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Individuals with autism typically have difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities.

• Individuals with autism often suffer from numerous co-morbid medical conditions which may include: allergies, asthma, epilepsy, digestive disorders, persistent viral infections, feeding disorders, sensory integration dysfunction, sleeping disorders, and more.

• Autism is diagnosed four times more often in boys than girls. Its prevalence is not affected by race, region, or socio-economic status. Since autism was first diagnosed in the U.S. the incidence has climbed to an alarming one in 68 children in the U.S.

• Currently there is no cure for autism, though with early intervention and treatment, the diverse symptoms related to autism can be greatly improved and in some cases completely overcome.

Autism Facts & Stats

• Autism now affects 1 in 68 children.

• Boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls.

• About 40% of children with autism do not speak. About 25%–30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them. Others might speak, but not until later in childhood.

• Autism greatly varies from person to person (no two people with autism are alike).

• The rate of autism has steadily grown over the last twenty years.

• Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the world.

• For children with autism to progress – early intervention is key.

What is Autism

Autism is the most common condition in a group of developmental disorders known as the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). 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).

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New Diagnosis

Arguably the most traumatic time associated with Autism is the initial diagnosis. The period before diagnosis can be extremely stressful as you worry constantly if your child has autism. Most parents would have been on the internet checking for the signs and markers for autism and then comparing their child’s behaviours for similarities. This is useful to a point but to get a confirmed diagnosis of autism you need to get a professional assessment.

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Aspergers Syndrome

Although there are many possible symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, the main symptom is severe trouble with social situations. Your child may have mild to severe symptoms or have a few or many of these symptoms. Because of the wide variety of symptoms, no two children with Asperger’s are alike.

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