What Is Autism?
Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction, communication skills and behavior. Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in both verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and leisure or play activities. Autism is a spectrum disorder and it affects each individual differently and to varying degrees. Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child or their child’s failure to reach appropriate developmental milestones. Some parents describe a child that seemed different from birth, while others describe a child who was developing normally and then lost skills. If you have concerns about your child’s development, don’t wait: speak to your pediatrician about getting your child screened for autism.