What is Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects
communication and interaction skills. It typically appears during the
first three years of life, so children should be screened for autism at
18 and 24 months of age. It appears that the tendency for autism may be
present at birth.
Every case of ASD is different however here are some signs to watch for:
- Children have a hard time learning social skills, such as making eye contact,
having conversations, coordinating language with nonverbal communication,
or learning through social imitation.
- Children seem to inhabit their own world — a world that can sometimes
be closed off to relatives and friends.
- Sometimes this includes repetitive behaviors and motor movements.
- Autism spectrum disorders can be called many different things: autism,
high-functioning autism and Autistic Disorder
What Causes Autism?
ASD research has advanced significantly in the past decade, but it is still
not known exactly what causes the disorder. It is likely that there are
multiple causes. We do know that there is no link between vaccines and
autism. Parents who have questions about vaccines are encouraged to talk
with their child’s pediatrician, who can provide more information
about immunizations. We also know that ASD is not caused by psychological
factors and/or parenting behaviors or practices.
The sooner autism is identified, the sooner an intervention program can
start. If you are concerned about how your child plays, learns, speaks
or acts, talk with your pediatrician.