Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.
We now know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges.
A combination of genetic and environmental factors influence the development of autism, and autism often is accompanied by medical issues such as:
- Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders
- Sleep disturbances
Autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children.
Many people with autism also have sensory issues. These can include aversions to certain sights, sounds and other sensations.Autism’s hallmark signs usually appear by age 2 to 3. Often, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Some associated development delays can appear even earlier.