Autism now effects one in every 110 children. Also, more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. To understand autism, think of the most complicated aspect of our universe, and then multiply that by infinity. Autism affects the brain's ability to develop social and communication skills. The way the media presents it, you would think that autism is autism, but that is not true. In fact, autism is actually a collection of diagnoses, each a little different from the others. It is one of five developmental disabilities known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD includes Asperger's syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD-NOS), autistic disorder, Rett's syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder. The cause of autism spectrum disorder is still unknown. However, this topic is rather controversial.
Autism spectrum disorders cut across all lines of race, class, and ethnicity. Autism impacts millions of children, adults, and their families around the world. There is a genetic link, siblings of a child with autism have a greater chance of being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism spectrum disorders affect not only the person diagnosed with the disorder, but also has s significant impact on the entire family with a variety of social, financial, and other practical demands. Autism is characterized by what is clinically described as “deficits in social reciprocity.” Social reciprocity may include a range of back-and-forth actions, such as gestures, sounds, play, attention, and conversation. Further, ritualistic and obsessive behaviors are often present. In addition, a child with an autism spectrum disorder may have uncontrollable temper tantrums, an extreme resistance to change, and over- or under-sensitivity to sights and sounds. The symptoms are varied, but one thing is clear: the earlier a child is diagnosed and begins receiving services, the better the prognosis for the child....
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