What is autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?
Autism is a developmental brain disorder that affects the normal development of social, behavioral, and communication skills. Autism typically appears within the first three years of life and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 1 in 68 American children are on the autism spectrum. In 2013, autism was merged into one group diagnosis called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which includes autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger’s syndrome.
What are the symptoms of autism?
Autism affects people in varying degrees of symptoms in terms of social development, motor coordination, intellectual disability, and more. While there is no cure for the disease, early intervention services can improve a child’s development.
What treatment options are available for autism?
According to the Autism Society, “while there is no known cure for autism, there are treatment and educational approaches that can address some of the challenges associated with the condition. Intervention can help to lessen disruptive behaviors, and education can teach self-help skills for greater independence. But just as there is no one symptom or behavior that identifies people with autism, there is no single treatment that will be effective for everyone on the spectrum. Individuals can use the positive aspects of their condition to their benefit, but treatment must begin as early as possible and focus on the individual’s unique strengths, weaknesses and needs.”
Autism treatments can include:
- Non-medical interventions – behavioral, educational, and sensory communication
- Biomedical Therapies – diet modifications, vitamins, minerals, and immune system regulations
- Related Therapies – animal therapy, art/music
How can I get help in managing autism?
With autism, it’s not surprising that no single approach is right for every child. However, there are helpful tips and suggestions available that may help you find the approach that’s right for your situation.
- Beginner’s guide for treating autism
- The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit for Newly Diagnosed Families of Young Children was created specifically for families of children ages 4 and under to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child’s diagnosis of autism
- 100 Day Kit for School Age Children is a tool designed to help assist families of children between the ages of 5 and 13 recently diagnosed with autism during the critical period following an autism diagnosis.
What services and resources are available for autism?
In Sacramento and Northern California, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) offers numerous programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities. From our Autism Center for Excellence (ACE) after-school program, to our Autism (ACE) Summer Camp, we offer children ages 8-12 the chance to practice social skills, develop friendships, and build motor skills.
This lecture series features world-renowed experts, who are the the forefront of research on autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Their presentations will address the latest approaches to understanding and treating these complex conditions.