Autism spectrum disorder impacts social skills, communication, and behavior. Symptoms may be identifiable as early as 18 months and early intervention can have a huge impact.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or autism, is a developmental disorder that impacts social skills, communication, and behavior. Diagnosis can occur as early as 18 months by tracking developmental milestones, and other indicators usually appear by 2 or 3 years old. Typical indicators are trouble with social interactions, repetitive behaviors, difficulty with speech and nonverbal communication, and obsessive interests. Autism is considered a spectrum disorder and is composed of multiple subtypes. Some people with autism are able to live entirely independently while others need significant and regular support in their everyday life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1 in 59 children in the United States today are affected by autism. An early diagnosis and intervention can make a significant positive impact on reducing symptoms for years to come. However, because autism is a spectrum disorder and affects each individual differently, a unique and customized treatment plan is important. Many people with autism do respond well to highly structured and specialized programs, and other treatments include behavioral management therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, medication, nutritional therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language therapy, and more.