What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

A complex neurodevelopmental disorder associated with difficulties in social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communications, and repetitive behaviors or interests. Other characteristics can include unusual responses to sensory experiences. Impairments range from mild to severe and vary with each individual.

What causes autism/ASD?

The exact causes are not know in most cases. Research suggests that genetics are strongly involved.

Is there a cure for autism/ASD?

ASD is usually noticed in the first few years and lasts through a lifetime. There is no definitive cure for autism; however, there are educational, behavioral and therapeutic interventions and strategies for families. The earlier a child with ASD receives services, the more these interventions will work to enhance a child’s development.

How is autism/ASD diagnosed?

ASD can only be formally diagnosed by a trained clinician after conducting formal diagnostic tests. The clinician may be a developmental pediatrician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other trained and experienced professionals.

What are considered “red flags” for Autism?

Please note, these red flags do not necessarily mean your child has autism. Please consult with your pediatrician regarding any concerns you may have.

Impairment in Social Interaction:

  • Lack of appropriate eye gaze
  • Lack of warm, joyful expressions
  • Lack of sharing interest or enjoyment
  • Lack of response to name

Impairment in Communication:

  • Lack of showing gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving
  • Lack of coordination of nonverbal communication
  • Unusual prosody (little variation in pitch, odd intonation, irregular rhythm, unusual voice quality)
  • Loss of speech or babbling

Repetitive Behaviors & Restricted Interests:

  • Repetitive movements with objects
  • Repetitive movements or posturing of body, arms, hands, or fingers