Autism is a disorder that stems from neural development issues. Individuals with autism are typically diagnosed before the age of three, and the disorder is characterized by restrictive and repetitive behavior, and limited social and communication skills. The disorder affects the brain by changing how nerve cells effectively arrange and organize themselves. The disorder is considered genetic; however, the genetic workings of the autism are complex and it’s not necessarily clear whether or not it is caused by rare combinations of common genetic variants or by rare mutations.
Autism is one of three disorders on the known autism spectrum. Asperger syndrome lays at the other end of the spectrum, and this syndrome is categorized by developmental disorders and delays in both cognitive skills and language development. In the middle lays pervasive development disorder. Also known as PDD, this disorder is diagnosed when the child exhibits some symptoms of Asperger syndrome or autism, but full criteria for either is not met.
There are many signs of autism, and it’s important to be diligent and notice these signs as early as possible. Studies show that providing help for children with learning disabilities at an early stage fosters positive mental and physical growth, and a mitigation of symptoms. Autistic infants show little to no reaction to social stimuli, and rarely respond to their own name. When seeking attention for their needs, the children are more apt to point than to vocalize. Those on the spectrum are likely to avoid eye contact as well.
A concern of many parents whose children have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other children with learning disabilities is that they won’t get the help they need. Luckily, help for children with autism is out there. Currently, there are many special education schools that specialize in working with learning disabilities and special needs. These schools provide help for children with learning disabilities and ASD using customized programs that cater to specific educational needs.