Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States today.
Autism isn’t a set of defined symptoms that collectively worsen as you move “up” the spectrum. In fact, one of the distinguishing features of autism is what the DSM-V calls an “uneven profile of abilities.” There’s a reason people like to say that “if you have met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” Every autistic person presents slightly differently.
That’s because autism isn’t one condition. It is a collection of related neurological conditions that are so intertwined and so impossible to pick apart that professionals have stopped trying.
Websites about Autism
Autism Research Institute: autism.com
Wrong Planet: Asperger & Autism Forum community: wrongplanet.net
Autism Hangout: youtube.com/user/autismhangout
Carly’s Café: Experience Autism through Carly’s Eyes: carlyscafe.com