What is autism?

Autism is a lifelong, neurological disorder that significantly affects how a person perceives the world, interacts with other people, and communicates.

It is often referred to as a spectrum disorder, meaning the symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe. Autism and its associated disabilities such as Asperger Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) occur in approximately 1 out of every 68 children born today. Autism is four times more prevalent in boys than in girls and knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries.

There is no single, specific cause of autism. In many families there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities – which suggests there is a genetic basis to the disorder – although no single gene has been directly linked to autism.

Autism is treatable. Early diagnosis, intervention, and a system of support are vital to the future development of the child.


                                                                                                                                                                                  -Autism Society of the Fox Valley