Autism is a biological and neurological spectral disorder that typically appears during the first three years of life. It affects brain function and is a life long disability resulting in behaviors that affect both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Symptoms include certain 'trait' behaviors and affected social development. This complex developmental disability is four times more common in boys than girls and occurs in 1 in 95 children born today (Dept. of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, Medical Home Initiatives & First Signs Inc.).
Social, ethnic and racial factors have been shown as non-factors to the cause of this disorder. Autism is characterized by its early onset. Typical behaviors show up before the age of 36 months, but the symptoms are often masked during the first two years of life by developmental milestones. Autism is a spectral disorder that has a wide range of severity from person to person. Simply put, people afflicted with autism do not process what they see, hear and sense in a typical manner.
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