Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.
Autism effects 1 in every 68 children in the United States and 1 in 42 boys (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Autism is treatable and research shows that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the most researched and evidenced based treatment for autism. There is no one cause for autism and no known cures. Autism can affect any child, regardless of race, ethnicity, lifestyle, education or income level. Early diagnosis and appropriate intervention are critical components to successful treatment and set the foundation for future success.
Navigating the complex world of autism treatment and services can be a challenge for many families, especially those new to the diagnosis. The Knapp Center for Childhood Development makes every effort to be a resource to the community while continuing to deliver high quality autism services. Here, we offer a variety of special topics on autism to better help families understand symptoms, medical conditions, mental health co-morbidities, genetics and treatment.