What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life. It is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain and impacts development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. People with ASD have challenges with social skills and communication. They may also exhibit repetitive behaviors. Autism is a spectrum disorder which means that its severity or impairment can be mild or severe. It manifests differently for every person. Some people with ASD may need ongoing support, while others may live independently. According to the CDC about 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with ASD, with boys being 4 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed.

What causes Autism?

We don’t know all the causes of autism. There are different causes for the many types of ASD.  Studies have identified the following risk factors:

  • Children born to older parents are at greater risk of being diagnosed.
  • Genetics play a large role.
  • Vaccinations do not cause ASD

What are some signs and symptoms?

According to the CDC, children with ASD might:

  • not look at objects when another person points at them
  • have difficulty relating to others
  • avoid eye contact
  • have difficulty understanding other people’s feelings
  • seem to be unaware when people talk to them
  • have difficulty expressing their needs
  • not play “pretend” games (for example, not pretend to “drive” a toy car)
  • repeat actions over and over
  • have trouble adapting when a routine changes

How can we help?

While there is no cure for autism, intensive, early treatment can make a big difference in the lives of many children with the disorder. Speech therapy is a key component of these treatments.

At City Speech Center, our therapists have many years of experience providing therapy to children with ASD. Our highly trained staff employ strategies based on the Kaufman Speech to Language ProtocolDavid Loyst’s Reference and Regulate™, and Michelle Garcia-Winner’s Social Thinking model.

For more information, contact us.