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What is Autism?

Autism is a developmental disorder that typically impacts an individual’s ability to communicate and interact with others. It is important to note that the diagnosis was changed to Autism Spectrum Disorder because it can present on a spectrum from severe impairment to high functioning.   

 

How is autism diagnosed? 

Autism is diagnosed through psychological testing. Children are usually referred for psychological testing by pediatricians, mental health professionals (like a counselor or therapist), or even school officials. 

 

What causes Autism Spectrum Disorder? 

The research shows that the causes of Autism appear to be very complex. There appears to be a genetic basis, but environmental conditions seem to have some contribution. What those environmental conditions might be are too numerous to point out.   

 

What are some early signs of Autism? 

  • Difficulty with communication
  • Difficulty with social interactions
  • Obsessive interests
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Hypersensitive to light, sound, taste, and touch.
  • A child with autism might not look you in the eye when you are speaking to them
  • They might be very rigid when it comes to time, schedules, and rules
  • They also might appear to lack empathy.

Since no two autistic people are the same, and autism affects their lives differently, people should try to not make assumptions about a child’s needs or abilities.