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What is Autism?

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults with Autism, typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. One should also keep in mind that Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means it affects each individual differently and at varying degrees. This is why early diagnosis is so crucial. By learning the signs of ASD, a child can then begin to benefit from one of the many specialized intervention programs.

What Causes Autism?

Though there is no single cause or cure; Autism is treatable. Early diagnosis paired with early and intensive behavioral intervention will lead to socially significant and improved outcomes. Unfortunately, professionals still don’t know. Many of the cases are idiopathic, which means the cause is unknown.

Just as there are different levels of severity and combinations of symptoms of Autism, there may also be multiple causes. The best scientific evidence available today points us to multiple variables and combinations of causes- there are multiple genetic components that may cause Autism on their own, or possibly when combined with exposure to undetermined environmental triggers.

Early signs of autism in babies and toddlers

The Autism Awareness Ribbon:

awareness - what-is-autismThe puzzle pattern of this ribbon reflects the mystery and complexity of Autism. The different colors and shapes represent the diversity of people and families living with this disorder. The brightness of the ribbon signals hope. Hope through research and increasing awareness in people all over the world.