Defining Autism

Autism is a complex developmental disability that impacts normal development of the brain in the areas of communication skills and social interaction. Difficulties experienced by both children and adults with autism include:

  • Communication (verbal and non-verbal)
  • Social skills
  • Making and maintaining eye contact
  • Paying attention
  • Self-help skills (toileting, grooming, feeding, etc.)
  • Transitions

Autism is referred to as a “spectrum” disorder by experts because the symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe.