What is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people.
The essential features of autism spectrum disorder are persistent impairment in reciprocal social communication and social interaction, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. These symptoms are present from early childhood and limit or impair everyday functioning. Autism spectrum disorder encompasses disorders previously referred to as early infantile autism, childhood autism, Kanner’s autism, high functioning autism, atypical autism, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, childhood disintegrative disorder, and Asperger’s disorder.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) begins before the age of 3 years and can last throughout a person’s life, although symptoms may improve over time. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity (i.e. ability to engage with others and share thoughts and feelings) are clear to identify in young children with the disorder. They may show little or no interest in initiation of social interactions, understanding and/or demonstrating emotions in self or others, reduced or absent of imitation of other’s behavior. The language exists is often one-sided mostly used to request or label rather comment, share feelings, or converse.
As children with ASD become adolescents and young adults, deficits in social-emotional reciprocity may be most apparent in difficulties processing and responding to complex social cues (examples: joining conversation, maintaining conversations, initiating conversations)