FAQs

If you are looking for some basic information about autism, this page may just have your answer! Check out some of the frequently asked questions and look to the navigation bar on the right for inquiries regarding other related issues.

Autism 101

1. What is autism?

2. Who does autism affect?

3. Is there a cure for autism?

4. What causes autism?

5. How is autism diagnosed?

6. What is Asperger’s Disorder and how is it different from autism?

7. What is PDD-NOS and how is it different from autism?

8. What are the early signs of autism spectrum disorders?

 

What is autism?

Autism is a complex developmental disability that affects the ability to communicate, reason, and interact with others. It typically appears during the first three years of a child’s life.

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Who does autism affect?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects approximately one out of every 68 births. Autism can affect any family and any child, regardless of racial, ethnic, social boundaries, family income, lifestyle, or educational levels

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Is there a cure for autism?

Currently, there is no cure for autism. But evidence shows that early intervention results in positive outcomes for children with autism, and the earlier the better.

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What causes autism?

At this time, the cause of autism is unknown. The current research suggests that autism is a genetic disorder that is possibly triggered by environmental factors.

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How is autism diagnosed?

Medical tests to diagnose autism are in the experimental phase and are not available yet. A trained diagnostician, typically a psychologist or neuro-developmental pediatrician, can diagnose autism based on observations of a child’s behavior.

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What is Asperger’s Disorder and how is it different from autism?

Asperger’s has some of the same social deficits and restricted range of interests and behaviors that autism does. However, those with Asperger’s do not have a history of substantial cognitive or communication delays.

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What is PDD-NOS and how is it different from autism?

PDD-NOS is the abbreviation for Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. PDD-NOS and autism are both diagnosed through observation of behaviors, and the diagnosis of PDD-NOS is made when a child has only some deficits or an atypical pattern of deficits. The difference between a diagnosis of autism and PDD-NOS is often very subtle, and people with either diagnosis are likely to benefit from similar approaches to treatment and education.

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What are the early signs of autism spectrum disorders?

Most children with autism spectrum disorder show developmental differences when they are infants, especially in social and language skills. They usually crawl, sit, and walk on time, so the more subtle social differences don’t get noticed. Here are some examples of social differences:

  •  Not making eye contact with others.
  •  Not cuddling like other children.
  •  Not smiling back at others.
  •  Not responding to his or her name.
  •  Tuning others out.

SOCIAL