People may use the term autism or ASD, but both mean autism spectrum disorder. People with autism spectrum disorder have brains that work differently. They may learn differently. They may see, hear, feel, or smell things differently. Those with ASD may have a harder time with things that are easier for other people. These can include:
- Talking or making conversation
- Playing with others
- Controlling body movements
- Understanding that people have different interests
- Being comfortable with different sounds
People with autism spectrum disorder aren’t sick. It’s not contagious. Individuals with ASD may have a hard time telling people what they are thinking or how they are feeling. Sometimes they may use pictures to help them talk and understand things.
Children with autism spectrum disorder may…
- Say things over and over.
- Not want to share or play with you.
- Act like they can’t hear you.
- Move their bodies in ways that look different (rocking back and forth or flapping their arms or hands).
- Not understand how you feel.
- Become upset when even small things change.
Everyone is good at some things and not as good at other things. What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
Children with autism spectrum disorder have strengths…
- Understanding pictures
- Paying attention to one thing
- Learning routines
- Learning small bits at a time
- Playing with people they know well
…and weaknesses too!
- Understanding words
- Moving to new activities
- Learning a new way to do things
- Making new friends
- Understanding that other people have different interests
What is Autism? Video
Completed in 2012, this 20-minute video features stories of several individuals on the spectrum that reflect successes due to the support of their families and providers utilizing evidence-based strategies.
What viewers said about it…
“It was very comprehensive and realistic. Shows a great progression from pre-strategies to post strategies use. Very helpful to use in faculty meetings with all teachers in schools. Great to help parents understanding of why we use evidenced based practices in the schools and across community settings. I can’t wait to start using it.”
“It would be helpful for the schools, parents, providers, firefighters, police, pastors, doctors, nurses, etc.”
“I think the video could be used with any group interested in learning more about autism and in touch in some way with individuals with autism.”
- Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
- NIH – Autism Spectrum Disorder Fact Sheet
- NICHD – Autism Overview
- CDC Autism Spectrum Disorders Fact Sheet
- Helping My Child After the Diagnosis
- Helping My Child After the Diagnosis – Chart
- CDC Autism Fact Sheets
- How to Talk with Patients and Families about Autism Spectrum Disorders
- MMR/Autism Fact Sheet
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Autism
Links to other resources
- AIM Project
- Autism Society of America
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- First Signs
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) – MedlinePlus
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
- National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
- National Institute on Deafness & Other Communication Disorders
- National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Organization for Autism Research (OAR)