Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

Chances are you know or love something with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Understanding and educating yourself on the developmental disability is a key step in loving and respecting those who have been diagnosed.

Including You is brought to you by the Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

It is important to understand that people with autism spectrum disorder are people first and they are not defined by their disability.  ASD is a wide spectrum and that is why people with ASD have variances in how they communicate, socialize, and express themselves. As stated by the CDC, ASD is a developmental disability that affects how individuals communicate and interact. Some people with ASD are very independent while others require help in their daily lives.

Autism spectrum disorder is not a visible disorder- people with ASD rarely have any physical traits that set them apart. Additionally, people with autism are like you and I in many ways; they can have successful jobs and careers, get married, have children, live on their own, and form lasting friendships.

There is no cure for ASD and it is not a phase that children will outgrow. That said, early diagnosis and intervention is important in child development. As there is no medical test or blood work to identify ASD, medical professionals observe development and behavior to make their diagnoses.

Presently, there is no known cause for autism spectrum disorder; it affects all races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic groups. That said, it is four times more common in males. Autism is not caused by vaccinations. Once identified as separate conditions, Asperger syndrome, autistic disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) are all included in the diagnosis of ASD.

The Tuscarawas County Board of Developmental Disabilities (TuscBDD) has resources for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. TuscBDD provides Early Intervention for children birth to three years old, Service and Support Administration for people of all ages, family support services, family mentorship, and more! To learn more about these serves and others, visit TuscBDD online at www.tuscbdd.org.

For more information on autism spectrum disorder visit the following sites: