"He who saves a single life, it is as though he has saved the entire world."- Talmud
The Spectrum of Autism
Autism Spectrum Disorders include autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder—not otherwise specified (also known as atypical autism), and Asperger’s disorder. Children with ASD require long-term care and services.
Early symptoms may include grossly delayed language and/or motor development, atypical play, such as spinning, lining up, staring at or feeling toys, lack of peer play or friendships, stereotyped body movements, tantrums, pronounced fears, crying, screaming, sleeplessness, and noise sensitivity. Isolation inevitably sets in as appropriate social and communication skills fail to develop. Older children may become aggressive, hazardous, or self-injurious to a degree that necessitates institutionalization. While children with autism fall within a large continuum of functionality and severity, most of those afflicted have difficulty achieving independence, forming stable relationships, or being free from anxiety. Many exhibit limited or no eye contact and are aloof and profoundly withdrawn.
Little is known about what causes ASD, although genetic and environmental factors have been suggested. There is no current cure for autism, however, early and intensive education can help children develop skills necessary to progress to typical school settings. There is strong evidence that many children with autism are actually able to learn as much as typically developing children, given the right environment.