autism tiles on top of a blue cloud on top of a hand

What is Autism?

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Autism includes Autistic Disorder (AD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger’s Disorder also known as Asperger’s Syndrome (AS).

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, Autism affects 1 out of 91 children.

  • Autism is a complex neurobiological spectrum disorder affecting individuals differently and to varying degrees. Individuals do not grow out of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

  • Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic and social groups and is four times more likely to affect boys than girls. Autism impairs a person’s ability to communicate (understand and relate to others) socially and emotionally.

  • Autism is also associated with unproductive repetitive behaviors; processing disorders (sensory sensitivities to light, smell, sound and touch), eccentric behaviors and rigid routines; and unusual preoccupation with subjects and objects.

Early Signs of Autism

One or more of the following can be indicators of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, which includes Autistic Disorder, PDD-NOS and Asperger’s Disorder, also known as Asperger’s Syndrome:

  • Absence of smiles of recognition by six months or thereafter Acts as though they cannot hear your voice

  • Absence of acknowledgment when a parent returns home or when a new person enters the room by six months or thereafter

  • Preoccupation or fascination with objects rather than with people

  • Plays alone

  • Impaired social interaction such as back-and-forth sharing of facial expressions by nine months or thereafter

  • Slow to imitate games like peek-a-boo

  • Giggling for no reason or when no one else is around as early as four months or thereafter

  • Extreme sensitivities to light, smell, sound, touch and taste by four months or thereafter

  • Hand flapping, hand gazing, body rocking or other self-stimulatory behaviors as early as six months

  • Absence of babbling by 12 months Absence of back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, or waving by 12 months

  • Fixation on audio/ video stimulation by 18 months

  • Absence of words by 16 months or odd use of language or unusual tone of voice

  • Compulsively arranges non-toy items or lines up toys

  • Absence of initiating two word meaningful phrases by 24 months.

  • Speaks only when coaxed

  • Any loss of first words or any loss of babbling at any age

  • Any loss of social skills at any age

  • Peculiar or rigid eating, dressing or sleeping habits

  • Strongly prefers or insists on talking about one subject without variation

  • Lack of daily progress (A developing child is doing or discovering new things every day.)

Every day without treatment is a lost opportunity for progress.

Evidence Based Autism Intervention

1. Autism Distance Education Parent Training (ADEPT) Strategies for Teaching Functional Skills

Website: ADEPT 

2. National Autism Center’s National Standards Project

Website: National Autism Center 

3. Association for Science in Autism Treatment

Website: Asaton

4. NY Department of Health Early Intervention Program

Website: NY State Department of Health 

5. Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies


6. Autism Watch

Website: Autism Watch