Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex neurological disorder that typically appears within the first 3 years of life. Although the cause is unknown, it is believed that ASD is a result of both genetic and environmental factors. There is no cure; children with autism grow up to become adults with autism.
While Canadian statistics are often quoted at 1 in 94, data published in March 2014 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that 1 in 68 children are now affected by autism – 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
This figure represents a 120% increase since 2002. The reason for this increase is unknown.
Autism affects more children than those affected by cancer, diabetes, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and AIDS combined. The need for research, treatment and support services is critical.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex neurological disorder that typically appears within the first 3 years of life. Although the cause is unknown, it is believed that ASD is a result of both genetic and environmental factors. There is no cure; children with autism become adults with autism.
Children with ASD experience a wide variation of developmental disabilities and symptoms which lie in a few crucial areas—communication, learning, social interaction and sensory issues. Many have difficulty responding appropriately in different environments, display rigid and unusual behaviours and have difficulty coping with changes in routines. While some children with ASD are highly verbal, many cannot speak; some need constant assistance with basic life skills.
With compassion and acceptance, intensive structured support and specialized therapies, children with autism can learn and develop, gain many new skills and thrive as contributing members of their families, schools and communities.
At Giant Steps, we are passionate about enabling them to do just that.
The following sites are excellent starting points for learning about ASD: