What is Autism?

Autism, also called autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), is a developmental disability characterized by communication challenges, repetitive behaviors, and social-interaction difficulties. It is one of the fastest growing developmental disorders in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in every 59 people are diagnosed with autism. Boys are also four times more likely to have autism than girls.


While people with ASD may not "look" autistic, it is how they act, communicate, and learn that sets them apart. 


There is a wide range of symptoms. Despite how many a person with autism have, there are common ones to notice. The most common involve communication issues, repetitive and unusual behaviors, and social-interaction difficulties.


Communication Issues

  • Does not respond to their name
  • Does not follow directions
  • Has delayed speech
  • Has difficulty explaining what they want

Repetitive and Unusual Behaviors

  • Follows a specific routine
  • Gets upset over changes, regardless how small
  • Has extreme interests in an object(s)
  • Is sensitive to sound, smell, or touch
  • Repeats words and actions

Social-Interaction Difficulties

  • Avoids eye contact
  • Is unaware of emotions
  • Prefers playing alone


Nobody knows what causes autism. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, researchers discovered that some genes are linked to ASD and that people with autism develop differently in numerous regions of the brain. Researchers also have been investigating the possibility of genetic and environmental causes. Claims that vaccines cause autism are false, as concluded by the CDC. 


While there is currently no cure for autism, early intervention can teach children with autism many skills, such as communication and cognitive skills, which can improve behaviors.

Learn More

Dedicated to increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism through his own personal experiences, Robbie is available to speak at businesses, conferences, and to educators and professionals. 

Get in touch with Robbie