is a biological disorder that impairs communication and social skills.
It encompasses a broad range of characteristics that vary in
Individuals with autism
have been described as being in their "own world".
There may be serious sensory challenges that accompany autism that
must be understood to fully comprehend the disorder. Some of the
markers are as follows:
or delay of speech and language:
of words (echolalia) in place of a normal verbal communication.
leading to communicate in place of verbal requests.
of verbal communication.
relating to other children and adults:
of eye contact. (When directly in front of the child, they may
look in every direction, except at the individual in from of
of interest in other children and what the other children are
of response to verbal requests.
response when name is called.
of physical contact (even with parents and siblings).
to others in distress or pain.
spinning, rocking, hand flapping, etc..
laughter or tantrums for no apparent reason.
attachment to objects.
behaviors i.e. lining up objects.
odd play for extended periods of time. Example: stacking blocks
for a half-hour at a time.
on routine and sameness. Difficulty dealing with interruption
of routine schedule and change.
self-injurious behavior or aggressive behavior toward others.
(over) or Hypo (under) sensitivity of the five senses (See the
responses to the senses.
lack of response to pain or an over-reaction to something seemingly
minor such as a door closing
you are the parent of a newly diagnosed child or a doctor, therapist,
or educator learning about autism for the first time, please continue.
Autism is a spectrum disorder. On one side of the spectrum there
are individuals who are mildly affected, who hold jobs and have
families. There are Ph.D.s and college graduates, artists and engineers.
There are probably individuals at your work place or school who have
and you dont even know it. In between, there is a broad range
Today, there are many more treatments and therapies available than
there were ten years ago.
in mind, that while all of these therapies work for some people,
none of them work for everyone.
Many individuals have progressed far enough to be considered "mainstream".
are many dedicated parents, doctors, researchers and educators working
hard every day with the common goal to find a cause and cure.
hard yourself and demand others work hard on behalf of your loved
one. There is hope. Hard work and energy will pay off with tangible
progress. All progress is worthwhile and important.
Believe in your child
Never! Never! Never give up!
Autism is a complex disorder. The information presented here is, of necessity,
general in nature. Please consult with a qualified professional
concerning your specific questions. The opinions expressed herein
are those of the individual authors.