Autism Spectrum Disorders are a group of developmental disabilities that can affect the way individuals:
- understand and use language to interact and communicate with people
- understand and relate in typical ways to people, events, and objects in the environment
- understand and respond appropriately to sensory stimuli–pain, hearing, taste, etc.
- learn and think similar to typically developing children
ASD’s are “Spectrum Disorders.” Which means that people with an ASD will be affected in different ways ranging from very mild to severe. Individuals with ASD’s share some similiar symptoms and characteristics such as difficulty with social interactions. There are however differences in when symptoms start, how severe they are and the exact nature of the symptoms. (CDC, 2009)
Autism exists on a continuum from mild to severe. Learning, responding, and thinking differences result in confusion, frustration, and anxiety expressed in withdrawal, repetitive behaviors, and, sometimes, in aggression or self-injury.
Autism can co-occur with other disabilities.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, All children with ASD demonstrate deficits in:
- Social Interaction
- Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
- Repetitive Behaviors or Interests