Basics of Autism

Standing in the line for pre-boarding, it came over the speaker that the flight was running late. As it was only 15 minutes, I decided to stay in line. A family with 2 children stood ahead of me. I smiled at one of the boys; his eyes darted down. He then began flapping his hands in the air. His mother tells me this is how he says hello, then tells me she both boys with Autism.

Just reading the title of this blog may lead one to believe that Autism may have basic or easily understood parameters. Recent years have bombarded us with information on autism, autism therapy and autism treatment. The breadth of information can only lead to more questions than answers.

Autism is one term used to describe a combination of developmental brain disorders more accurately known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). To better understand the group of disorders, professionals, and advocates have come to use the term Autism Spectrum Disorder. This indicates a longitudinal reference, a range of the condition from mild to significant involvement.

The cause of autism is the albatross around the medical community’s neck. The current thought is that it is a nature/nurture combination. Genetics, environmental exposure, and when the child may have experienced the environmental factors may be elements that come together and bring about the cluster of known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although a term has been assigned to Autism, the cause and effects on individuals remains elusive.

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