Fight 4 Autism

Autism spectrum disorders begin before the age of 3 and last throughout a person's life, although often times symptoms may improve over time. Some children with autism spectrum disorder show hints of future problems within the first few months of life. In others, symptoms might not show up until 24 months or later. Some children with autism spectrum disorders seem to develop normally until around 18 to 24 months of age and then they stop gaining new skills, or they lose the skills they once had.

What is Autism?
An individual may exhibit the following:
Signs and Symptoms

Doesn't make eye contact  (e.g. look at you when being fed) 

Doesn't smile when smiled at. 

Doesn't respond to his or her name or to the sound of a familiar voice. 

Doesn't follow objects visually. 

Doesn't point or wave goodbye or use other gestures to communicate. 

Doesn't follow the gesture when you point things out. 

Doesn't make noise to get your attention.  

Doesn't initiate or respond to cuddling. 

Doesn't imitate your movements and facial expressions. 

Doesn't reach out to be picked up. 

Doesn't play with other people or share interest and enjoyment. 

Doesn't ask for help or make other basic requests. 

According to the National Institute of Health, autism spectrum disorders are a range of complex neuro-development disorders,characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. With the May 2013 publication of the DSM-5 of the diagnostic manual, all autism disorders were merged into one umbrella diagnosis of ASD-Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical autism, is the most severe form of autism spectrum disorders, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified.  Although autism spectrum disorders vary significantly in character and severity, they occur in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups and affect every age group. Males are four times more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder than females.