What is Autism?

Autism, also called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), both are general terms for a group of complex disorder for brain development. Because these disorder represent a widely varying degree of social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and certain repetitive behaviors there is a full spectrum, or degrees which a person can be affected by Autism.

Autism is most often associated with a difficult in motor coordination, but is also associated with intellectual disability, attention and physical health issues. In many cases, children and adults with ASD excel in specific skills such as visual skills, music, math and art.

Usually autism will begin to emerge between the ages of two and three even though it actually begins at the very beginning of brain development. Currently nearly 1 in every 68 American children are on the autism spectrum with a majority being boys who represent approximately 1 in every 42 with girls showing up with a 1 in every 189 ratio.

With no one cause for Autism, just as there is not just one type of Autism, scientists have found the causes they have discovered so far include a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors. Even when the autism risk genes are present, a child does not always show signs of ASD unless environmental stress or risk factors are also present.

Autism is a unique and specialized disorder with many who are affected having above average intellectual abilities. With a wide spectrum of afflictions, children who have been diagnosed with Autism benefit greatly from the comprehensive and continuous support and Occupational Therapy offered at We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym.

With the use of sensory equipment and smaller toys that challenge the fine motor skills of a child, a child with Autism typically shows signs of improvement and growth beyond the expectations of doctors and their normal Occupational Therapists. The use of larger play equipment helps children learn strength and improves their ability to function while the smaller toys and texture sensitive equipment and toys assist children with the skills they will need on a daily basis. Those who suffer socially are also able to gain the benefits of participating in activities with other children and learn what appropriate social behaviors are. The environment at We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym is specifically designed to address needs of children on any part of the Autism Spectrum.

For more details regarding the changes to the criteria, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics News website at http://aapnews.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/06/04/aapnews.20130604-1