Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental and neurological condition impacting how individuals engage with others, communicate, learn, and behave. While autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is characterized as a "developmental disorder" because symptoms typically manifest in the first two years of life. ASD is described as a "spectrum" disorder due to the broad variability in the type and severity of symptoms individuals may experience.

People of diverse genders, races, ethnic backgrounds, and economic statuses can receive a diagnosis of ASD. Although ASD may persist throughout a person's life, interventions and services can enhance an individual's symptoms and daily functioning. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that all children should undergo screening for autism, and caregivers are encouraged to consult their child's healthcare provider regarding ASD screening or evaluation.


Common Symptoms of ASD:

  • Limited or inconsistent eye contact
  • Demonstrating a lack of attention or responsiveness to individuals who are speaking
  • Infrequent sharing of interests, emotions, or enjoyment in objects or activities, including limited pointing or showing things to others
  • Unresponsiveness or slow responsiveness to one's name or verbal attempts to gain attention
  • Challenges with the back-and-forth dynamics of conversation
  • Extended monologues about a preferred topic without recognizing others' disinterest or providing an opportunity for them to respond

Causes and Associated Factors:

The precise causes of ASD are not yet fully understood, but research suggests that a person's genetic makeup can interact with environmental factors to influence development, potentially leading to ASD. Some factors linked to an elevated likelihood of developing ASD include:

  • Having a sibling with ASD
  • Having older parents
  • Having specific genetic conditions, like Down syndrome or Fragile X syndrome
  • Being born with very low birth weight

Treatments and Therapies:

Commencing treatment for ASD as soon as possible after diagnosis is crucial. Early intervention for ASD is essential, as it can help individuals manage their challenges while enhancing their strengths and acquiring new skills.

Because people with ASD encounter a broad range of issues, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Collaborating closely with a healthcare provider is a key step in determining the most suitable combination of treatments and services.



In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe medications to address specific symptoms. Medication can help individuals with ASD manage:

  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Hyperactivity
  • Attention difficulties
  • Anxiety and depression