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  1. What is Autism?

Autism is a life-long developmental disability that prevents individuals from properly understanding what they see, hear, and otherwise sense. This results in severe problems in social relationships, communication, and behavior.

Individuals with autism have to painstakingly learn normal patterns of speech and communication and appropriate ways to relate to people, objects, and events in a similar manner to those who have had a stroke.


  1. What causes autism?

Autism is a brain disorder, present from birth, which affects the way the brain uses information. The cause(s) of autism is/are still unknown. Some research suggests a physical problem affecting those parts of the brain that process language and information coming in from the senses. There may be some imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain. Genetic factors may sometimes be involved. Autism may indeed result from a combination of several ‘causes’.

No factors in the psychological environment of the child cause autism


  1. How common is autism?

Autism is one of the four major developmental disabilities. It occurs in 1 in every 68 births.


  1. Who is affected by autism?

Autism is distributed throughout the world among all races, nationalities, and social classes. Four of every five people with autism are male.


  1. What is the most common problem in autism?

Individuals with autism have extreme difficulty in learning language and social skills and in relating to people.


  1. Can people with autism be helped?

Yes, autism is treatable. Studies show that all people who have autism can improve significantly with proper instruction and educational intervention. Many individuals with autism eventually become more responsive to others as they learn to understand the world around them.


  1. Does autism occur in conjunction with other disabilities?

Autism can occur by itself or in association with other developmental disorders such as mental retardation, learning disabilities, and epilepsy.

Autism is best considered as a disability on a continuum from mild to severe. The number of handicaps and degree of mental retardation will determine the location on that continuum.


  1. What kinds of jobs can individuals with autism do?

In general, individuals with autism perform best at jobs that are structured and involve a degree of repetition. Some people who have autism are working as artists, piano tuners, painters, farmworkers, office workers, computer operators, dishwashers, assembly line workers, or competent employees of sheltered workshops or other sheltered work settings.


  1. What additional services are needed for children?

Children with autism need:

  • Respite care

  • Before and after-school care

  • Summer programs

  • Group homes

  • Other residential living options

  • Prevocational training

  • Summer school programs


  1. What do people with autism need when they become adults?

Adults with autism need:

  • Vocational training

  • Job opportunities

  • Group homes

  • Supervised apartments

  • Other residential living options



About Autism

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