What Is Autism?


Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior. 

What Causes Autism?

The exact cause is not known. It is associated with certain genetic mutations and hereditary syndromes. It is a disorder related to brain development causing difficulty in socializing and interacting. 

While the scientists are still out on this answer to this question,  there are two ways to answer this.  One; Autism happens in utero, within the mothers womb. Two, Autism can occur outside of the womb.  Some children are not diagnosed immediately after birth as symptoms sometimes take years to show themselves.

How Can I Know If My Child Is Autistic?

There are milestones that each child achieves.  There are charts and expectations of children achieving these goals at a specific time in their lives.  Now we all know the individuality of each child and contributing factors of their lives will play a part.  As parents we learn to know our children and knowing them gives us the ability to know if something isn't quite right.  

As a parent, your astute observation of your child is the factor.  Its easy to freak yourself out because "Joey" isn't talking yet.  You spend your day googling every little thing. Be wise.  Talk to your pediatrician about your concerns.  Remember every child will develop at their own pace. 

What To Do After A Diagnosis?

The first thing to do after a diagnosis of Autism is breathe.  The journey begins here. There are phases that will happen and you will be alright and your child will be alright.  

There are treatments and therapies and so many things everyone will tell you about. The most important thing is that YOU create a plan of action for you and your child. This is the first step in your journey.  It may not be easy but have a plan.  Do your research.  And Know that you are not alone in this. 


The Autism Resource Foundation does not offer medical advice.  If medical advice is needed, please visit a physician.