Basic Information on Autism

Internet Resources

General information
Edna Smith-Herron, Susan Hawkins
Children and adults with autistic spectrum disorders look the same as other people and due to the invisible nature of their disability it can be much harder to create awareness and understanding.
National Autistic Society
Children with these disorders have difficulty accomplishing early developmental tasks entailing language, communication, socialization, and motor behavior. These disorders are rare and appear to have a genetic cause.
Robin F. Goodman, Anita Gurian
Autism is a behavioral syndrome characterized by impaired socialization, impaired communication, language disorder, inadequately modulated affect, and abnormal play.
Erin Irwin
It is widely considered that cure is impossible, because autism involves aspects of brain structure that are determined very early in development. However, there are persistent claims that some individuals after diagnosis have been helped to recover.
Thursday, November 30,2000 All Things Considered
General information
Michael Woods
General information
Autism is characterized by marked problems in social interaction, as well as by delayed and deviant communication development, and various other behaviors which are usually subsumed in the term 'insistence on sameness'.
Fred Volkmar, Ami Klin
General information
Autism is a brain disorder that affects a person's ability to communicate, form relationships with others, and respond appropriately to the environment.
Kyle Gibson
Lecture for course, Investigating Minds, Sarah Lawrence College
Elizabeth Johnston
General information
Sharyn Neuwirth
General information
Infantile autism develops before 30 months of age and is characterized by impaired verbal and non-verbal communication, imaginative activity, and social interaction.
The core features of autism include impairment in three main areas of functioning: social interaction; communication; patterns of behaviour, interests and activities (which become restricted, repetitive and stereotyped).
Avril Brereton, Bruce Tonge
Although people with this baffling brain disorder can display a wide range of symptoms and disability, many are incapable of understanding other people's thoughts, feelings, and needs.
Calgary Regional Health Authority
Today, many youngsters can be helped to attend school with other children. Methods are available to help improve their social, language, and academic skills.
National Institute of Mental Health
Autism is a behavioral syndrome, which means that its definition is based on patterns of behaviors that a person exhibits. Autism is not an illness or a disease.
Recent autism and autism-related research from Gothenburg is surveyed. In indigenous families, typical autism seems no more common now than 10 years ago. Genetic factors play a part in causing autism and Asperger syndrome. Certain medical syndromes carry a relatively high risk of concomitant autistic symptoms. Evidence for nonspecific brain dysfunction is often found in autism and autistic-like conditions. The search for the underlying clue to the riddle of autism may be futile. Autism might be best conceptualized as a behavioral syndrome reflecting underlying brain dysfunction which shades into other clinical syndromes. A new class of disorders of empathy is proposed.
Christopher Gillberg
This chapter will summarize what is known today about the neurobiology of PDD. Four major topics will be reviewed: diagnostic issues, associated neurological disorders, neurobiological research, and psychopharmacological treatment.
Linda Lotspeich
Developed using federal funds as part of a grant from the South Dakota Council on Developmental Disabilities.
Julie Christian
The goal of this continuing education self-study model is to update nurses' knowledge of the identification, classification, management, and nursing interventions for with patients with pervasive developmental disorders.
Donna Wittert
People can be said to have 'low-functioning autism' or 'high-functioning autism,' depending upon the severity of their symptoms and the results of an IQ (intelligence) test.
American Academy of Family Physicians
Autism is not a disease, but a developmental disorder of brain function. People with classical autism show three types of symptoms: impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual or severely limited activities and interests.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders
General Information
U.S. Center for Mental Health Services
People with classical autism show three types of symptoms: impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual or severely limited activities and interests.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders
Links to resources on autism at Medscape
General information
Autism is a life-long developmental disability that prevents individuals from properly understanding what they see, hear, and otherwise sense. This results in severe problems of social relationships, communication, and behavior.
Joanna Dalldorf
In the late 1990's 380,000 people in the US were classified as having autism. By 1998 the number had risen to 550,000. By 2002 the number had reached 1.5 million. 1 out of every 250 babies born today will develop some form of autism.
Autism Society of America, Greater Georgia Chapter
General information brochure
Autism Association of the ACT
This paper reviews recent research addressing 4 major issues: early detection, intervention, education, and psychopharmacological management of children with autism and related spectrum disorders.
Susan Bryson, Sally Rogers, Eric Fombonne
It can be certainly said, from our clinical experience, that it is nothing but well-organized community services for the handicapped children that fulfill the function of detector of autistic spectrum.
Maki Tomita
As of 2004, no cure exists and some controversy surrounds both its categorization as an ailment and treatments for autism. Early diagnosis and understanding are held by most professionals to be vital to the future development of the child.
Aspies for Freedom
Autism is a very complex and difficult neurological condition which requires early and intensive treatment in order to increase the chances of the affected individual integrating into society and leading a fairly normal life.
Joshua Perper, Michael Weston
General information
Mayo Clinic
Student term paper
Dena Bodian
Recognition of the disorder called autism may have its origin in Itard's 1801 description of the wild boy of Aveyron.
Christopher Prater, Robert Zylstra
This is a review of autism spectrum disorders. It presents the symptoms of the disease discussing the age of diagnosis and first symptoms encountered. It is a polygenic disease that occurs mainly in boys. The importance of early diagnosis is emphasized. The assessment scales used for early diagnosis are discussed. The anatomic basis of the disease is detailed. The molecular genetic aspects, and the techniques employed are reviewed. Special emphasis is placed in chromosome abnormalities observed in autism. Its incidence worldwide is increasing dramatically. This is considered to be due to epigenetic events. Several hypotheses for such epigenetic processes are discussed. Finally the state of intervention in autism and its paradigms are detailed.
Pinar T. Ozand, Ali Al-Odaib, Hania Merza, Saleh Al Harbi
National Autistic Society
The leaflet enclosed will explain more about autism and the difficulties faced by children and adults with autism.
National Autistic Society
Autism was added as special education category in 1991, and by 2003 was the sixth most common special education category, according to the CDC. Between 1994 and 2003 the number of children being served in special education for ASDs rose 600%. To access free educational resources the first thing a parent needs to do is to get an eligibility evaluation. "That would either be from the school district or the state," says Ficcaglia. "Where they go to get that special evaluation is pretty state specific. The school district doesn't become involved in providing services until the child is 3, but they will evaluate at 2 years and 9 months."
Marian Wilde,
While we have constantly updated our criteria for autism, as Wing (1997) noted, The clinical picture of the autistic client changes with age, and it may be appropriate to eventually include a separate DSM-IV criterion for the autistic adult.
Derek Wood
Autism occurs early in life and is characterized by social, verbal and nonverbal impairments, and rigid repetitive behaviors. Autism can be quite severe or associated with only minimal deficits.
Grace Brooke Huffman
General information
Office of the Family, Youth, Family Services Division, Victorian Government Department of Human Services
Autism is a special kind of disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. Children and adults with autism find it difficult to understand the world around them and sometimes get very upset, anxious or angry.
National Autistic Society
The mysterious disability of autism is characterized by a peculiar emotional and intellectual detachment from other people and the common human world.
Harvard Mental Health Letter
Early intervention improves long-term function for the child. It can lead to help and support for parents in caring for their child. Recognition of autism is still occurring later than experts would ideally like.
Jennifer Humphries
Dr. Sarah Spence, medical director of the UCLA Autism Evaluation Clinic, recently spoke to the Palisadian-Post about autism. Autism manifests itself on a wide spectrum and symptoms may range from mild to severe. Some children with an autism spectrum disorder may have uncontrollable temper tantrums and an extreme resistance to change. Others have an under- or oversensitivity to sights and sounds. Myths abound. One is that all autistic kids make no eye contact, don't talk, hate being hugged and rock back and forth in the corner. This is untrue; just as each child is unique, his or her autism and symptoms are unique. But what is universal is that these children need to be taught the types of things that come naturally to most other kids.
Sue Pascoe, Palisadian Post
Autism is not a fate worse than death. Autistic people have some disadvantages, but some live very happy and rewarding lives. Many autistic people wouldn't want to be cured, as this would be like erasing them and replacing them with different people.
Jared Blackburn
Slide presentation
Melady Preece
Individuals with ASD can successful in a variety of aspects of life when given appropriate interventions. This includes Educational, social, medical, behavioral and sensory.
An informative description of ASD and the three main problem areas (sometimes referred to as The Triad of Impairments) as well as the Associated Characteristics (the additional non-triadic features) encountered by those on the spectrum.
National Autistic Society
Basic information about autism. Warns of unusual behaviors and assures that no harm is intended. Designed to be printed out on 8 1/2 x 11 paper (landscape setting) and cut into 3 strips that fold into business-card size for carrying in the pocket.
Gerald Hasselbrink
What I am going to attempt to do here is give you a basic idea of what you should do, if you suspect your child, relative, or a child you know is autistic or has some kind of learning issue.
I'll be finding out what other factors could be responsible, and why it's so much more common in boys. As well as discovering what it's like to live with a child with autism.
Mark Porter, British Broadcasting Corporation
In the United States, autism may affect up to 115,000 children between one and 15 years of age, but its prevalence in adults is uncertain. (Review of article by Isabelle Rapin)
Kathryn Andolsek
General information
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dealing with a diagnosis of AS may follow a similar process but in some ways is more complex, in that parents are not dealing with a finite event that will eventually fade from memory and become more bearable with time.
Latika Vasil
A threefold approach: increase the rate of development of the brain and immune system. Second would be to minimize those factors that adversely affect daily functioning. Third would be to lower the level of frustration by the individual.
Daniel Hawthorne
The problems of defining a sub-group with 'typical' autism among the wide spectrum of children with the triad of impairments of social interaction, communication and imagination are discussed and the value of such a sub-grouping questioned.
Lorna Wing
I believe that treatment should be eclectic and tailored to each child's specific needs and that families as well as affected children need help. I don't think any one method works for every kid.
Isabelle Rapin
As the name implies, ASDs are spectrum disorders, ranging from mild to severe. A child on the severe end of the spectrum may be unable to speak and also have mental retardation. A child on the mild end of the spectrum may be able to function in a regular classroom and even reach the point where he or she no longer meets the criteria for autism. No two children with ASDs are alike, even if they have the same diagnosis. One child with an ASD may be nonverbal and have a low IQ.Another child with the exact same diagnosis may have an above-average IQ. A third child may be verbally and intellectually precocious. The terms high-functioning and low-functioning are sometimes used to describe where a child is on the autism spectrum.
Siff Exkorn
General information
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
The online course will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. The course covers the following areas: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder; Treatment Options; Treatment Assistance; Transition to Adulthood; More Information and Resources.
Answers to questions about sensory oversensitivity and overload, food preferences and avoidance, toilet training, echolalia, fixations, diagnostic categories, early intervention, clothing issues.
Temple Grandin
There aren't enough of us working with children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders such as those on the Autism Spectrum. The few of us who do this type of work have waiting lists too long for any family to have to endure. Similarly, there are too few psychological consultants to address the school districts' needs for knowledgeable and reasonable assistance. Hence, we need more of you.
Teresa Bolick
The outcome of a master's project completed at the University of Saskatchewan.
Cheryl Thacker
Many parents seem very confused and concerned when they first hear that their child is autistic. They also feel a sense of loss, as they contemplate the fact that their child isn't normal. While I've never been a parent, I think I can give some insight as an adult autistic.
Joel Smith
Because they cannot communicate children with autism tend to retreat into themselves. They can also display fear or anger if forced to have contact with the world when they do not want it.
Autism Association of the ACT
The whole spectrum is defined by the presence of impairments affecting social interaction, communication and imagination. This is known as the triad of impairments. This is always accompanied by a narrow repetitive range of activities.
National Autistic Society
General information brochure for Louisiana residents
Sabine Parish School Board, Pupil Appraisment Services
The nature of the social, communication, and language impairments in autism can best be understood by reflecting on the acquisition process from a transactional developmental perspective.
Amy Wetherby, Barry Prizant
It is only by constant employment in some congenial field of useful occupation that an economic return for the time, care and expense necessary to develop defectives to a point of usefulness can be obtained from them.
Mrs. M.C. Dunphy
The following is an introduction to autism, some of the many treatment approaches, and local and national resources available for individuals with autism. This is not an exhaustive list; its purpose is to provide information on some of the more common aspects of autism and does not reflect an endorsement of any one particular treatment or resource.
Nebraska Department of Education
It has been over 50 years since Dr. Leo Kanner wrote the first paper applying the term 'autism' to a group of children who were self-absorbed and who had severe social, communication, and behavioral problems.
Stephen Edelson
No diagnosis will change your child - he/she is still the boy or girl that you love. Most of us will find the strength to deal with the diagnosis and to move ahead with our child. He/she will respond to your love, faith and hope.
Autism Society Manitoba
There are five types of PDD's. The most commonly encountered are PDD NOS (pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified), childhood autism, and Asperger's syndrome.
Rami Grossmann
These are my own personal observations and learning methods that I tried with my youngest son when he was young. My son was diagnosed High Functioning Autistic. I am also the grandparent of a grandchild diagnosed High Functioning Autistic, too.
Patti Shepard
This page is created as the visual aids for the class presentation of Psychology 608, fall 2002. This covers all information of our presentation and is easy to review. We hope that this will help understanding PDD.
The heightened public profile of autism has apparently deflected attention away from many of the real issues effecting the lives of people with autistic spectrum disorders themselves.
Hugh Morgan
Most autistic people, especially if they are not intellectually disabled, want very much to achieve their goals. Therefore, over time they will develop strategies to help them learn and understand the world around them.
Wendy Lawson
Cognitive deficits in social perception likely result from abnormalities in neural circuitry. Abnormalities in the cerebellum and limbic system and larger brains have been reported. Evidence of delayed maturation of the frontal cortex has been found.
PDD is term used to describe a broad and complex category of behavioral problems in children which are usually evident by age 3 years and before age 10. In all cases the child's social, communication and learning ability is impaired.
Michael Conner
Autism is not caused by emotional or environmental trauma, but possibly by a brain malfunction. Although currently no gene has been linked to autism, it does seem to have a genetic component.
Jennifer Russo
On meeting someone with autism we are confronted with a strong sense of a person lost in a world of their own whom we are unable to reach emotionally.
Susan Reid, Anthony Lee
In this class, you will be exploring the phenomenon that is referred to as 'autism.' You will begin by becoming extremely familiar with persons who have been diagnosed as being autistic.
Morton Ann Gernsbacher
Research findings have made it possible to identify earlier those children who show signs of developing autism and thus to initiate early intervention, which can lead to improved cognitive and behavioral outcomes.
National Institute of Mental Health
Over one half million people in the U.S. today have some form of autism. Its prevalence rate now places it as the third most common developmental disability - more common than Down's syndrome.
Adelle Jameson Tilton
General information
Autism Association of the ACT
The result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, autism impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.
Because an autistic child looks 'normal' others assume they are naughty or the parents are not controlling the child. Strangers frequently comment on this 'failing'.
National Autistic Society
Autism is a lifelong neurological disability that affects a person's ability to communicate, understand language, play, and socially interact with others.
Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, University of Albany SUNY
Autism is a lifelong neurological disability that affects a person's ability to communicate, understand affects a person's ability to communicate, play and socially interact with others.
(Quoting Baynton:) "The attribution of disease or disability to racial minorities has a long history. Yet, while many have pointed out the injustice and perniciousness of attributing these qualities to a racial or ethnic group, little has been written about why these attributions are such powerful weapons for inequality, why they were so furiously denied and condemned by their targets, and what htis tells us about our attitudes toward disability."
Michael Berube

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