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You are here: Home >> Learn About Autism >> Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) >> What is Autism?

What is Autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neuro-developmental disorder that typically appears during the first three years of life and causes significant impairments in the areas of communication, behavior, and socialization. Autism is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.

Autism is treatable. Children do not "outgrow" autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes.

Here are some signs to look for in the children in your life:

  • Lack of or delay in spoken language
  • Repetitive use of language (echolalia) and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Lack of interest in peer relationships
  • Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
  • Persistent fixation on parts of objects
  • Lack of gestures
  • Not pointing
  • Not playing with toys appropriately

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You are here: Home >> Learn About Autism >> Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) >> What is Autism?