Autism is defined by the Autism Society of America (ASA) as:
“Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills.”
Both children and adults with autism typically show difficulties in:
- verbal and non-verbal communication
- social interactions
- leisure or play activities.
Autism is one of five disorders that falls under the umbrella of Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), a category of neurological disorders characterized by “severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development.”