Autism Quest. What is autism? ASD. autism spectrum disorder. causes. symptoms. definition. meaning.

What is Autism?

What is Autism?

Autism, also known as 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 has, 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
  • Delayed or no speech
  • Difficulty explaining what they want

Repetitive and Unusual Behaviors

  • Follows a specific routine
  • Gets upset over changes, regardless how small
  • Extreme interests in objects
  • Sensitive to sound, smell, or touch
  • Repeats words and actions

Social-Interaction Difficulties

  • Avoids eye contact
  • Unaware of emotions
  • Prefers playing alone

The actual cause is unknown. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, researchers have discovered that some genes are linked to ASD and that people with autism develop differently in numerous regions of the brain. Researchers are also investigating the possibility of genetic and environmental causes. Claims that vaccines can cause Autism have been proven false, as concluded by the CDC.

Although there is no cure, early intervention can teach communication and cognitive skills, which can improve behaviors.

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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.