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All About Autism

April 09, 2013

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April is Autism Awareness Month, which makes it the perfect time for you to get educated on this disorder.

What Is It?

Autism is a brain development disorder that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects your ability to communicate and interact with other people.

What Causes It?

No one knows for sure what causes autism, but it could have something to do with family genetics, prenatal risk factors, or exposure to children's vaccines. It affects one in 150 kids in the US, and is four times more prevalent in boys than in girls.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Lack of, or delay, in spoken language
  • Repeating words or phrases
  • Repeating physical behaviors, like flapping hands, spinning objects, or stacking objects
  • Obsessive attachment to objects
  • Lack of interest in social interactions
  • Little or no eye contact
  • Resistance to change
  • Temper tantrums

How Is It Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for autism, but with help from doctors, speech therapists and special needs teachers, kids with autism can overcome their difficulties. With more extreme symptoms, you may need to take medications to help control your mood and behavior, but mild autism is treated by learning communication skills, social skills and basic living skills like brushing your teeth or making the bed.

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