What Is Autism?
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological disorder that affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. People with autism often exhibit unusual repetitive behaviors and/or a restricted range of activities. These issues can cause significant challenges in social, occupational, and other areas of functioning. While there is no cure for autism, intensive treatment early on can make a big difference in the lives of many children.
I Think My Child May Have Autism.
The term “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder refers to a wide range of symptoms which vary from mild (sometimes referred to as “Asperger’s syndrome”) to severe. The following resources will provide you with detailed information about developmental milestones to look for, as well as behaviors and symptoms that may be an indication of autism spectrum disorder.
CDC Act Early - Milestones Brochure
Autism Speaks - Symptoms
Autism Speaks - Diagnostic Criteria
What Should I Do Now?
If you believe your child is missing developmental milestones and/or exhibiting symptoms of autism, the first step is to visit your pediatrician. When sharing your concerns with your child’s doctor, be as specific as possible about the behaviors and signs you have observed. If your pediatrician shares your concerns, they will refer you to a diagnostic specialist for an evaluation.
Explore our Resource Directory to find pediatricians knowledgeable about autism and information about diagnostic centers in your region. Our staff is also available to discuss options and provide referrals by phone.