Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. It is called a “spectrum” disorder because it affects individuals in different ways and to varying degrees.

Autism is typically diagnosed in early childhood, usually between the ages of 2 and 3 years old, although some individuals may not receive a diagnosis until later in life. Symptoms of autism can include:

  • Delayed or absent language development
  • Difficulty with social interactions, such as making eye contact, sharing emotions or interests, and understanding social cues
  • Restricted and repetitive behaviors, such as repeating words or phrases, having strict routines, or engaging in repetitive movements
  • Sensory sensitivities, such as being overly sensitive or under-sensitive to certain sounds, textures, or tastes

There is no known single cause of autism, but research suggests that a combination of genetic and environmental factors may play a role. While there is no cure for autism, early intervention and therapy can help individuals with autism develop communication and social skills, manage behaviors, and improve overall functioning.

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