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The Fact Sheet: Learn More About Autism

The Fact Sheet: Learn More About Autism
Learn the what, when, who and how of the fastest growing development disability amongst children in the US.
What Is Autism?
Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that impacts the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills and cognitive function, and generally appears in individuals before the age of 3. Autism symptoms and degrees of severity vary from person to person no two individuals are alike.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autistic disorder (sometimes called classical ASD) is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum, like Asperger's syndrome, are milder.
Signs of Autism
Some of the most common signs of Autism include but are not limited to: repetitive behaviors, poor eye contact, loss of language skills or animated pronunciations, no response to name, issues with sensory processing, pica (appetite for non-nutritive substances), excessive lining up of toys or objects, impaired ability to sustain conversation, no single words by 16 months, or two-word phrases by age 2.
Autism & Genetics
Studies have shown genetics play a major part in autism diagnosis--it tends to run in families. If a couple has one autistic child, there is a 5 to 10 percent chance that siblings will have some sort of autistic disorder. Chances that the third child will be autistic, are around 35%. With identical twins, the likelihood is 60 percent.
Rates Are On The Rise
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are ten times more autism cases nationwide than there were in the 1980s. One in 88 children have autism in the US. The disorder disproportionately strikes 3 to 4 more boys than girls a rate consistent across all ethnicities. Although it may appear to be a growing epidemic, experts contribute the prevalence to increased diagnosis and reporting.
No Cure, But Early Treatment Is Crucial
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder, yet most underfunded. There is no known cure but intensive therapy early on can help a child learn a wide range of skills otherwise affected by the disorder. Skill-oriented training sessions such as Applied Behavior Analysis can help a child improve their social and language skills. Twenty-five hours of therapy per week is the suggested ideal.
What Can You Do To Help?
For more information on Autism, visit the National Institute of Health, or ColoredMyMind.com.

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