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Is it Autism? What Should I Do?


Your child has a tough time using words or making friends. Your spouse can't make eye contact or small talk. Could the problem be an autism spectrum disorder such as classic autism, high-functioning autism, pervasive developmental disorder or Asperger's syndrome? These resources will guide you through identifying symptoms, seeking a diagnosis, and making sense of evaluation findings.
  1. What Is an Autism Spectrum Disorder?
  2. Signs and Symptoms of Autism
  3. Early Signs of Autism
  1. Diagnosis: Autism
  2. Causes of Autism
  3. Could I Have Asperger's Syndrome?

What Is an Autism Spectrum Disorder?

The word "autism" covers an incredible range of people. That's in part because autism is actually a "spectrum disorder." The autism spectrum includes several distinct diagnoses, as well as a whole range of different symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Autism

Most cases of autism are diagnosed in children ages 2 to 5. It's during these early years that typical children develop critical social, language and motor skills -- skills that are often delayed in children with autism. If your child is a late talker, prefers solo play, or tends to play in the same way over and over again, you may be concerned about autism. Learn the early signs of autism, find out how professionals diagnose autism, and find out why your pediatrician may not be the best person to evaluate your child for developmental delays.

Early Signs of Autism

What does autism look like in an infant or toddler? Is it really possible to diagnose autism in such a young child? Researchers are working on this important question, with the understanding that early treatment seems to yield excellent results.

Diagnosis: Autism

When should I start thinking about having my child evaluated for a possible autism spectrum diagnosis? Who diagnoses autism? What kinds of tests are used? Get the details!

Causes of Autism

There are literally dozens of theories about what causes autism. Is it pet shampoo? Vaccines? Genetics? You may never really know what caused an individual case of autism -- but here are some of the theories and the research behind them.

Could I Have Asperger's Syndrome?

Asperger's syndrome was named by Hans Asperger back in the 1940s. He described a group of young children who were clearly bright and verbal, but who had significant problems with social skills, empathy and flexible thinking. Though Asperger's work has been around for decades, Asperger's syndrome only became an official diagnosis during the early 1990s. That's why many older children and adults are only now beginning to discover that their differences are diagnosable as Asperger's syndrome. Find out more about the symptoms of Asperger's syndrome, and learn how to seek a diagnosis.

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