Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that involves impaired social interaction and unusual, repetitive actions or interests. The disorder effects one out of every 70 boys and one out of every 90 girls.

About Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is actually a group of developmental disorders characterized by three distinctive behaviors: impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and unusual, repetitive, or severely limited activities and interests. The intensity of these behaviors ranges from mild to disabling. Experts estimate that one out of every 100 children will have ASD. Males are four times more likely to have autism than females.

The most common feature of autism is impaired social interaction. Parents are usually the first to notice symptoms of autism in their child. Even as early as infancy, a baby with autism may be unresponsive to people or focus intently on one object and ignore others for long periods of time. A child with autism may appear to be developing normally and then withdraw and become socially introverted.

Children with an ASD may fail to respond to their name and often avoid eye contact with other people. They may have difficulty interpreting what other people are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions, and don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior. They also lack empathy, and find it difficult to understand concepts such as humor or sarcasm.

Many children with autism engage in repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling, or self abusive behavior like biting or banging their head. They also tend to start speaking later than other children and may refer to themselves by name instead of "I" or "me." Children with autism often find it difficult to interact and play with other children.

Many children with autism have a reduced sensitivity to pain, but are abnormally sensitive to sound, touch, or other sensory stimulation. These unusual reactions may contribute to behavioral symptoms such as not wanting to be cuddled or hugged.

Symptoms for children on the autism spectrum can vary greatly. It is said that "once you have met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism."

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