What is autism?

Autism is a highly variable neurodevelopmental disorder, with symptoms generally appearing within the first two years of a child’s development.

Autism is also referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, as the term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability in functioning that can occur in people with ASD. Thus, no two people diagnosed with autism are exactly the same.

How is ASD diagnosed?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, some examples of the types of behaviors that are seen include:

Communication

Social communication / interaction behaviors

Repetitive behaviors

Although people with ASD experience many challenges, they may also have many strengths, including:

How is ASD treated?

There is no one single treatment. Generally, the main goals when treating children with autism are to increase social skills and communication, and increase quality of life and functional independence.

What can I do?

There’s plenty you can do to increase awareness about ASD!

Read Books

Books suggested by Teach for America that feature a character with autism and are ideal for children include:

For children in middle school and high school, Autism Akron recommends:

Create some Autism Awareness crafts!

Learn more

Additional Links

Many thanks to Wonder Moms for suggesting the following links!





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