Autism is a developmental disability that typically
appears during the first three years of
life, the result of a neurological disorder that affects functioning of the brain, autism and its
associated behaviors occur in approximately 15 of every 10,000 individuals.
Autism is four times
more prevalent in boys than
girls and knows no racial, ethnic or
social boundaries. Family income, lifestyle and educational levels do not affect the chance
of autism's occurrence.
Autism interferes with
the normal development of the brain in the areas of reasoning,
social interaction and communication skills. Children and adults with autism typically
have deficiencies in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and leisure
or play activities. The disorder makes it hard for them to communicate with others and relate
to the outside world. They may exhibit repeated body movements (hand flapping, rocking),
unusual responses to people or attachments to objects and resist any changes in routines.
In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior may be present.
It is conservatively estimated that nearly
people in the U.S. today have some
form of autism. It's prevalence rate now places it as the third most common development
disability - more common than Down's syndrome. Yet the majority of the public, including
many professionals in the medical, educational, and vocational fields are still unaware of
how autism affects people and how to effectively work with individuals with autism.
From the Autism Society of America's web
'What is Autism?" developed and maintained on behalf of the ASA by Catriona Johnson & Ben Dorman.
Autism Society of America, 7910 Woodmont Ave, Suite 650, Bethesda, MD 20814-3015
tel: 1-800-3AUTISM (301) 657-0881; fax: (301) 657-0869.
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