Autism Spectrum Disorders

What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities caused by a problem with the brain. Scientists do not know yet exactly what causes this problem.

ASDs can impact a person’s functioning at different levels, from very mildly to severely. There is usually nothing about how a person with an ASD looks that sets them apart from other people, but they may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most people.

The thinking and learning abilities of people with ASDs can vary – from gifted to severely challenged. Autistic disorder is the most commonly known type of ASD, but there are others, including “pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified” (PDD-N OS) and Asperger Syndrome.



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