Autism is a life-long disability that typically appears within the first three years of life. It is best described as a neurological dysfunction.
Individuals diagnosed with autism are from a diverse population.
Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that impacts the developing child’’s communication
skills, behavior and social interaction skills. Currently, there is no definitive medical test, such as a blood test, to identify autism. Rather, professionals rely on establish behavioral criteria (i.e., the DSM-IV). Generally those with autism
display the following:
In addition, there are a number of other characteristics associated with autism. However, these characteristics do not have to be present for the diagnosis to be made. These include:
Although autism was once considered a relatively rare disorder, it has become a pressing health care issue. Recent statistics suggest that approximately 1 in 165 children are afflicted with an autism spectrum disorder. Given this statistic, it is likely that most Canadians will encounter an individual with autism at some point during their life.