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What is Autism?

“If you know one child with autism, you know one child with autism.”

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be broadly defined as a group of lifelong developmental disorders with some similar key characteristics. Because there is such a wide spectrum when it comes to autism, it is important to note that no two individuals will face the same challenges, nor will they necessarily benefit from the same approach. People with autism often have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Attention and behavioral challenges that may lead to difficulties in learning particularly in school settings

  • Social challenges involving difficulty in communicating and interacting with others

  • Sensory sensitivities; under or over reaction to stimulation of one or more of the five senses

  • Repetitive behaviors, limited interests, and a need for sameness

Although some individuals may be mildly disabled by their symptoms, others may be severely impaired. While there is currently no known cure for autism, there are many treatments which can improve an individual’s symptoms and ability to function. ABA is currently the most widely recognized evidence based practice. As research learns more about ASD, we are able to continually improve treatment methods and diagnose at a younger age. Although it is never too late, it is important to seek treatment as early as possible.