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

Autism Distance Education Parent Training (ADEPT) Minimize

National Autism Center’s National Standards Project Minimize

Association for Science in Autism Treatment Minimize

NY Dept. of Health Early Intervention Program Minimize

Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies Minimize

Autism Watch Minimize