Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that is best defined as a broad range of conditions that include challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech to nonverbal communication and narrow range of interest. It is estimated that worldwide, The World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 160 children in the world have have autism.
How it is Diagnosed:
There is no blood test diagnostics for autism. It is diagnosed by a doctor through behavior and development diagnostics of social/behavioral indicators. Symptoms include:
- Abnormal Facial Expressions or body posturing
- Abnormal Speech or Tone of Voice.
- Avoidance of Eye Contact or Poor Eye Contact.
- Behavioral Disturbances.
- Difficulty in Language Comprehension.
- Delays in Early Childhood for Learning to Speak.
- Flat or Monotonous Speech.
- Inappropriate or difficulty establishing friendly Social Interaction.
Autism in a Nutshell
•Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and 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. Autism is a spectrum disorder (ASD) and it affects each individual differently and at varying degrees.
•Early intervention is defined as services delivered to children from birth to age 3, and research shows that it has a dramatic impact on reducing the symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. Studies in early childhood development have shown that the youngest brains are the most flexible.
•In autism, we see that intensive early intervention yields a tremendous amount of progress in children by the time they enter kindergarten, often reducing the need for intensive supports.