Autism is complex developmental disability that typically appears in the first three years of life. Autism Spectrum Disorders encompasses all degrees of severity of the disability and recognizes the extreme variability in its presentation. These disorders affect a child's behavior, social, and communication skills. Currently, research estimates that 1 in every 88 children has an ASD, with boys affected 3-4 times more often than girls.
Because autism is a neuro-behavioral disorder, most affected children will master early motor skills on time and delays in social and communications skills may not be as obvious to parents in the first or early second year of life. Looking back, many parents of children later diagnosed with an ASD can point to things that were off the norm, but nothing indicating a serious problem.
Autism is a lifelong condition with no known cure, though with appropriate early intervention and therapy, these children can progress developmentally and gain new skills. Some children may even improve to the point that they no longer meet diagnostic criteria for ASD, and can function quite well independently.
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