Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that typically lasts throughout a person’s life. It is part of a group of disorders known as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) that also includes Asperger’s syndrome.
Today, approximately 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with autism. Autism Spectrum Disorders occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups, but are 4.5 times more likely to occur in boys than girls. Symptoms can range from very mild to very severe.
Children with autism often have problems with social, emotional and communication skills. They may not play pretend games, avoid eye contact, prefer to be alone, not look at objects when another person points to it, have difficulty relating to others, not want to be held, repeat actions over and over, have trouble adapting to a change in routine, or lose skills they once had.
Some treatments for children with autism include behavior and communication approaches, which are offered at The HeartShare School, including Applied Behavior Analysis, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Picture Exchange Communication System or PECS.