Autism is a developmental brain disorder that affects the normal development of social, behavioral, and communication skills. It typically appears within the first three years of life. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 1 in 59 American children are on the autism spectrum. In 2013, autism was merged into one group diagnosis called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which includes autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger’s syndrome.
Autism affects people in varying degrees of symptoms in terms of social development, motor coordination, intellectual disability, and more. While there is no cure for the disease, early intervention services can improve a child’s development.
According to the Autism Society, “while there is no known cure for autism, there are treatment and educational approaches that can address some of the challenges associated with the condition. Intervention can help to lessen disruptive behaviors, and education can teach self-help skills for greater independence. But just as there is no one symptom or behavior that identifies people with autism, there is no single treatment that will be effective for everyone on the spectrum. Individuals can use the positive aspects of their condition to their benefit, but treatment must begin as early as possible and focus on the individual’s unique strengths, weaknesses and needs.”
With autism, it’s not surprising that no single approach is right for every child. However, there are helpful tips and suggestions available that may help you find the approach that’s right for your situation.
In Sacramento and Northern California, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) offers numerous programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Contact us for more information. LINK TO SHELLY PFELY INFORMATION.
This lecture series features world-renowned experts, who are the forefront of research on autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Their presentations will address the latest approaches to understanding and treating these complex conditions.