autism ribbon

 

"If you've met one person with autism – you've met one person with autism."

Stephen Shore

 

From the Autism Speaks Family Services Autism Safety Project:

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Autism is a term commonly used for a group of neuro-developmental disorders also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The core symptoms of autism are challenges related to:

  • communication
  • social interaction
  • restrictive or repetitive behaviors and interests

Individuals with autism can also experience other difficulties, including medical issues, differences in coordination and muscle tone, sleep disturbances, altered eating habits, anxiety or disordered sensory perceptions.  The features, abilities and severity of symptoms vary considerably among individuals with autism.

An individual with autism may display some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Difficulty understanding language, gestures and/or social cues
  • Limited or no speech, or verbalizations that repeat or maintain a particular topic
  • Limited or no eye contact
  • Difficulty relating or participating in a back-and-forth conversation or interaction
  • Social awkwardness
  • Repetitive behaviors, such as pacing or lining things up, spinning, hand flapping, or rocking
  • More or less sensitivity to light, sound, smell, taste or touch than usual
  • Abnormal fears and/or lack of appropriate fear of real dangers
  • Understanding and retention of concrete concepts, patterns, rules