What is Autism?

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurological disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and social interactions as well as restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. So what might that look like?


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Deficits in Social Communication and Social Interactions

  • Difficulty engaging in back-and-forth conversation
  • Abnormalities in eye contact and body language
  • Deficits in understanding and use of gestures
  • Failure to initiate or respond to social interactions
  • Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships

Restricted, Repetitive Patterns of Behavior, Interests, or Activities

  • Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech
  • Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior
  • Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus
    Hyper- or hypo-reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment


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