Autism is a serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.
ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder): The term “spectrum” reflects the wide variation in challenges and strengths possessed by each person with autism. Aspergers Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder are examples of conditions that are now considered Autism Spectrum Disorders and are different from what is considered classic Autism.
Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some developmental delays associated with autism can be identified and addressed even earlier. Parents with concerns should seek evaluation without delay, as early intervention can improve outcomes. Early recognition, as well as behavioural intervention, educational and family therapies may reduce symptoms and support development and learning.
There is a growing body of opinion that suggests that genetically predisposed children are encountering a neurologically toxic environmental ‘triggers’ that disables them and disconnects them from the world (proposed triggers include heavy metal toxicity, pesticides, viruses, and parasite/viral/bacterial-induced toxicity).