Monday, February 14, 2011

Autism Defined

I found this explanation as a link that talked about eye tracking in children as a means to diagnose autism. And although the story was interesting, the following words describing the characteristics of a person with ASD was so easy to understand, that I thought I would repeat it in my blog. There is a great need to bring awareness and acceptance of autism.

It came from "Autism Eye Tracking" written by Kristi Runyon, Tuesday, 15 February 2011, and the complete story can be found at

Autism is a disorder characterized by a spectrum of problems affecting communication, behavior and social interaction. Not every child has the same symptoms.

In the area of communication, children with autism may have delayed onset of language or may not speak at all. Others develop normal language skills, and then suddenly stop talking. Some children are unable to grasp the concept of back-and-forth conversation, often monopolizing the time on an unusual subject or repeating words or phrases over and over. They may have difficulty understanding body language, facial gestures, sarcasm or implied speech.

Behavioral problems may occur in response to changes in the environment or routine. Children with autism prefer consistency and sameness and may become upset at the slightest deviation in their daily routine. They may constantly organize objects in an unusual manner (like separating things by color) or place their toys in an exact line. Some children rock, flap their arms or run around in circles.
Problems in social interaction are a key characteristic of autism. Some children don’t want to be held and prefer to be alone as they grow (rather than play with siblings or peers).

The organization, Autism Speaks, reports one in every 110 children in the U.S. has some form of autism. The prevalence is increasing by about 10 to 17 percent annually, though no one knows why. Boys are affected about three to four times more often than girls.

Maybe this post will help more people understand and remind them to have more patience and understanding when dealing with autism spectrum disorders.