What is autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are developmental disabilities that cause substantial impairments in social interaction and communication and the presence of unusual behaviors and interests. Autism is an urgent and growing public health crisis that affects most individuals across their lifespan and demands a commensurate level of action from both the public and private sectors. Many people with ASDs also have unusual ways of learning, paying attention, and reacting to different sensations. Children generally have the same interests as their peers, but they may have difficulty expressing their likes and show an inability to relate in a social situation.
The thinking and learning abilities of people with ASDs can vary – from gifted to severely challenged. An Autism Spectrum Disorder begins before age 3 and lasts throughout a person’s life. It shows no boundary of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic group.
The diversity of impairments and the broad array of disorders across the diagnostic spectrum make providing the necessary individualized assistance and program interventions an immense challenge.
Autism is also considered a severely incapacitating, lifelong developmental disability usually appearing within the first three years of life. A significant amount of research is being done to come to some resolve on the origin of this disorder. This disorder effects many components of an individual including: sensory, cognitive, social and language.
More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes & cancer combined.