About Autism

Autism is a spectrum disorder. Within this spectrum symptoms and characteristics present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe.

While understanding of autism has grown tremendously since it was first diagnosed in 1943, most people are still unaware of how autism affects people. Contrary to popular misconceptions many people with autism make eye contact, show affection, smile, laugh and demonstrate a variety of other emotions, although in varying degrees.

Sensory integration problems are common for those with autism. Their senses may be over- or under-active. Many professionals feel that some of the typical autism behaviors are actually the result of sensory integration problems. Children with autism often have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions.

Every person with autism is an individual, and like all individuals, has a unique personality and combination of characteristics and talents. There has been increased research on the cause of autism; however, no definitive cause has been determined. Whether, genetic or environmental, children with autism, may display high levels of abilities in certain areas of particular interest. The key to success for these individuals is to be given the encouragement to cultivate those special abilities.