Autism is a neurological developmental disorder that is classified under autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Individuals with autism have deficits in social communication, social interaction, and the presence of repetitive or stereotypical behaviors. Symptoms of autism manifest in the early childhood developmental period, usually by age two. The characteristics of autism may range from mild to severe.
Is there a cause?
At the present time, there is no known cause for autism. Researchers are continuously conducting studies to evaluate the role that genetics and environment play in the disorder.
Is there any treatment?
At this time, there is no known cure for autism. Research demonstrates that behaviorally based interventions can have a significant impact on a child’s improvement. Research also supports that the earlier intervention is received, the better the outcomes for the child.
What is the prognosis?
According to the National Institute for Health (NIH) symptoms of autism can improve over time with the right interventions. Many children with autism can progress and grow up to lead typical lives. For many children, symptoms of autism improve with treatment and with age. Some individuals with autism grow up to lead normal lives. Some individuals with autism may need some level of services and support as they get older but many are able to work successfully and live independently or within a supportive environment.