Today's prevalence of autism numbers is stagering. Approximately 1/160 children born today has some indication of ASD (autism spectrum disorder). Below please find a few answers to some FAQ about Autism.
What is Autism?
Though awareness and understanding have greatly increased over the past few decades, many people are still unaware of the true affect of Autism. It can become an overshadowing factor in every aspect of life, including education, establishing and maintaining relationships, responding to pain and discomfort, and even in the ability to express emotion.
Symptom severity in Autism can range from mild to severe. For example, one child may intensely flap their arms to show excitement, another may display a smile under the same set of circumstances, while another child may sit in the corner and rock, leading the observer to believe that they may be incapable of showing or feeling emotion.
As parents reach the diagnosis, treatment and education stages of Autism, they will hear many different terms used to describe their child. This may include words such as autistic-like, non-verbal, developmentally delayed, autistic tendencies, savant, high-functioning, and low-functioning. The important thing to realize is that all children with Autism are different. What works for one may have zero effect on another. The combinations of signs and symptoms are endless. More important than the words used to describe the child is the underlying understanding that whatever the diagnosis is, children with Autism are able to learn, function productively in society and show positive gains with appropriate education and treatment plans in place. Without appropriate support, the child may never realize his full potential. (Source)
According to the National Academy of Sciences, "the diagnosis of autism can be made reliably in two-year-olds by professionals experienced in the diagnostic assessment of young children" with autistic disorders. Early diagnosis is crucial because education is the primary form of treatment, and the earlier it starts, the better." Autism and PDD: Fact Sheet.
What Can You Tell Me About Asperger Syndrome?. Asperger syndrome (AS) is a neurobiological disorder, which most researchers feel falls at the "high end" of the autistic spectrum. Individuals with Asperger syndrome can have symptoms ranging from mild to severe. While sharing many of the same characteristics as Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified and High-Functioning Autism, Asperger syndrome is a relatively new term in the United States, having only recently being officially recognized as a diagnosis by the medical community.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders). A detailed booklet, from the National Institute of Mental Health, that describes symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping.
Intensive Early Intervention