What is Autism?

What is Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears as early as 18 months old and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills. According to DSM-5 diagnostic manual, all autism disorders fall under one umbrella diagnosis of ASD. Before this, they were recognized as distinct subtypes, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a range of complex developmental disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, self-stimulatory repetitive, and stereotypical patterns of behavior.

What does it mean to be “On the Spectrum”?

Each individual child on the autism spectrum is unique. You will never meet a child on the spectrum that is exactly like another child. Many individuals on the autism spectrum have exceptional abilities in academic skills, visual skills and music skills.

About 40 percent of individuals on the spectrum have average to above average intellectual abilities. In fact, individuals on the spectrum take well-deserved pride in their distinctive abilities of their different ways of viewing the world.

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