What is Autism | Attendant Care Autism Services


What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

The National Institute of Mental Health defines Autism Spectrum Disorder as a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Autism is said to be a developmental disorder because the signs and symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life, but ASD can be diagnosed at any age.

Under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, people with Autism Spectrum Disorder generally have:

  • Difficulty with communication and interaction with other people
  • Restricted interests and repetitive behaviors
  • Symptoms that hurt the person’s ability to function properly in school, work, and other areas of life

Since there is such a variation in the type and severity of symptoms that people experience, Autism is classified as a spectrum disorder. Treatments and services have been proven to improve a person’s ability to function in daily life. It is recommended that all children be screened for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Not all people with Autism Spectrum Disorder show the same behaviors, but most will show some level of impairment with social interactions, restricted interests, or repetitive behaviors. Common signs and symptoms are:

  • Little or inconsistent eye contact
  • Not looking at or listening to people
  • Slow or no response to verbal attempts at gaining their attention
  • Difficulties with normal conversation
  • Continually talking at length without giving others time to respond
  • Facial expressions and gestures that don’t match their verbal communication
  • An unusual tone of voice
  • Repeating or having unusual behaviors
  • Overly focused interests
  • Not adapting to slight changes in routine
  • Sensitivity to sensory inputs

If you notice these signs and symptoms, visit a diagnostic center to be tested. Treatment for ASD should begin as soon as possible to potentially reduce difficulties later in life.


The Autism Spectrum contains a wide range of development differences and levels of severity for ASD. Over the last decade there has been a significant increase of both diagnosis and attention to the wide variety of developmental differences that exist on the Autism Spectrum.


Those with ASD have difficulty with social communication and interaction, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviors. Not all people with ASD will show all these behaviors, but most tend to show several.


The CDC has reported that 1 in 45 children has Autism. This is an alarming ratio, but there are so many benefits to receiving an early diagnosis. Roughly 28% to 47% of children diagnosed with autism who receive early intervention and therapy will move into general education by Kindergarten.


Developed at the University of Connecticut, M-CHAT is the most recognized/recommended aid in the early screening of autism in children between 16-30 months of age by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The M-CHAT does not provide a diagnosis, but can indicate if a child is at risk or should receive further evaluation. Click Here To Learn More