Growing Minds Center

Learn About Autism

Autism is a communication and social disorder affecting l in 88 births. There is an absolute need for early detection and treatment of autism. Children with autism generally exhibit signs within their first 6-8 months of life by their failure to maintain eye contact. Though babies with autism have normal motor functioning, their communication and social behaviors do not develop like those without the disorder.

Most children are diagnosed with autism around the age of two when they fail to begin speaking. Pediatricians and psychologists can diagnose the disorder. There is no "cure" for autism but therapy can reduce, or in some cases eliminate, the disorder's symptoms.

The behavioral characteristics include:

  • Significant difficulties with social interaction such as not attending to, playing with, or reciprocating with, others.
  • Significant difficulties in verbal and nonverbal communication such as grabbing what they want, copying or parroting words (echolalia). And, if the child has words, does not converse.
  • Significant difficulties in the development of play such as using only parts of toys, lines or stacks up objects, no imaginative play.
  • Highly restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior and interests, may spin and stare at objects, may flap fingers or pieces of string, mouth or hit self.
  • Highly resistant to even slight changes in routines.