What Is Autism? - Essay

What Is Autism? - Essay

|[pic] |Autism Association of the ACT Inc |
| |Postal: S.H.O.U.T, PO Box 717, Mawson, ACT, 2607 |
| |Telephone: (02) 6290 1984 * Facsimile: 02 6286 4475 |
| |Email: autism@coombs.anu.edu.au * Internet: http://autism.anu.edu.au/ |

Autism: What To Look For

What is autism?

Autism is believed to result from problems in the way a person’s central nervous system functions, in particular how it processes and organises information. The causes of autism are not known for certain and there are many theories. There does not appear to be a single cause. What is true, however, is that the style of parenting used for raising and managing children does not cause autism.

Autism is life-long. There is no cure, although with early diagnosis, appropriate therapy and educational programs, it is possible in many cases to make significant progress. With appropriate therapy and educational intervention the impairments that an autistic child has may diminish, however, they will always exist to some extent. Consequently, a person with autism will always need some form of assistance, depending upon their level of disability. When diagnosed, usually as children, autistic people have significant impairment in three specific areas of their development: communication, social skills, and flexible, adaptive behaviour.


Diagnosis is often difficult and needs to be made by a pediatrician or a psychologist who specialises in children’s problems. In the past, diagnosis and treatment have sometimes been delayed because parents have been told that they were ‘imagining things”. It is very important that professionals...

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